With businesses slowly starting to open up again, you may be among the people who will soon head back to work. Believe it or not, that could have a major impact on the health of your pets because when you’re no longer in the house 24/7, dogs and cats could experience separation anxiety.
"Separation anxiety is one of the major behavioral issues we deal with in pets," said Hollywood veterinarian Julio Lopez.
In fact, separation anxiety is diagnosed in up to 40% of dogs referred to behavioral practices in North America, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Lopez says signs your pet is experiencing separation anxiety include hiding before you’re about to leave the home, panting, shaking and salivating.
"One of the tips that you can do that's very easy is stop taking your pet to everything that you're doing currently," said Lopez. "So you may want to take a walk in the morning and a walk in the evening without your pet."
Lopez also recommends giving pets activities while you're away, like putting a treat inside a toy that takes them a while to figure out.
In some cases, your pet may howl or cry when you leave, or even become destructive.
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"Those pets may need medication—anti-anxiety medications— to help them get adjusted to the new period," said Lopez. "With the hope that over time you can gradually reduce and come off those medications."