Handling your pet’s separation anxiety as you go out again

TULSA, Okla. — People across the world have been spending more time in their homes with their pets as they grappled with the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.

It might be making the pets happy, but now people are getting out more and those animals might not be used to be home alone for so long anymore.

Dr. Ragen McGowan, a pet behavior specialist at Purina, says as many as 36 million dogs in the U.S. have been to the vet because of separation anxiety.

McGowan has been involved in animal behavior research for more than 20 years.

Signs of that separation anxiety might include accidents while home alone, excessive barking and howling or chewing things up around the hosue.

McGowan says pets thrive on routine, so pet owners can start doing things as they did before the pandemic; waking up at the same time they would if they were actually leaving for work, and taking the dog on a walk before work.

Pet owners might also want to reintroduce their dog to their crate, even while they’re at home.

McGowan says people can also play music or leave the TV on when they leave to keep the sound of human voices around to keep the pets from feeling as lonely.

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