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Separation Anxiety

Hi all,

Oscar here.

You know when you're having cuddles with your family and then they get up because they have to go to work, or school, or out to dinner, or any of the other things that humans do and then you get really really sad because the cuddles stop and you miss them and then you get even sadder and you don't know what to do with yourself and you feel all overwhelmed?

Well, you're not alone. Lot's of pets experience separation anxiety when their humans leave the house, whether its for a few hours or for an extended period of time. Now, while perfectly normal, some of the side effects of this anxiety manifest themselves in...less than stellar ways:

  1. Inappropriate elimination-We've all been there so don't feel too bad about it! Sometimes, we get so upset we urinate or defecate in inappropriate places—in the house, on the bed, on a rug.
  2. Aggression-No one likes having something they love taken away from them—think about a dog with a bone. Humans are no exception—we view their leaving as something being taken away from us and sometimes, react with aggression.
  3. Barking- This one is exclusive to pooches but that doesn't make it any less relevant. Pooches get anxious and can't help but bark like crazy—they have to get the stress out!

The good news, if you notice your pet behaving erratically and doing any of the above in excess (or just more than normal),there are a few options. For starters, you can visit a pet behaviorist to see if you can sort out the situation with coaching. If that doesn't work, you can talk to your doc about treating with Prozac, an anti-anxiety medication, just like you would with a human. So if you notice any of this, don't fret—visit the PPAC for a chat.

Til' next time,

Oscar

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