Having an anxious pet can be very difficult. When a dog or cat is anxious, not only will they be sad and distressed when you leave the house, but they can also resort to destruction or deification when left alone. Coming home to a messed up house and a nervous, hyper animal is not how anyone wants to end the workday. In order to help your animal get over their anxiety, consider following this advice:
1. Comprehend where their anxiety is coming from
Pay attention to how your animal acts. When do they become anxious? Is it when you start putting on your shoes and coat? When you grab your keys? Or is it not until you have left the house? Noting what is stressing your animal out is a good place to start.
2. Visit the vet
If your animal has experienced a physical change or is sick in some way, then being left alone will most likely make them nervous. Your vet can help you identify a problem, and they also can give very good advice regarding how to deal with an anxious animal. They may even provide your little fur baby with a prescription to help them in their times of greatest need, if it comes to that.
The best thing you can do for your animal is desensitize them to the thing that is making them anxious. If they get nervous when you start to put on your coat or grab your keys, then change up your routine. Put on your coat, and then hang out on the living room couch for a while. Let them know that you getting ready to leave doesn’t always mean you are going to be gone.
If you try to play with your animal, give it extra love, or leave it with a toy right before you leave, then you are only emphasizing the fact that you feel bad for going. These distractions will only be a temporary fix before the animal becomes stressed again. It is better to not make a big deal when you are leaving or when you come into the house. The more normal you act and downplay your comings and goings, the more normal they will be to your animal.
Build confidence in your animal
The more independent your animal feels, the more comfortable they will be by themselves. Choose to play challenging, engaging, and rewarding games with your pet that can make them feel successful. Puzzles with treats as rewards and games where they can find a toy or snack always help to build confidence.