Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Top 5 Tips To Help Your Pet Cope with Back-to-School Separation Anxiety (Sponsored)

This is a sponsored post, written by me on behalf of Purina.   I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Top 5 Tips to Address Separation Anxiety in Pets during Back-to-School Season, By Dr. Kurt Venator, (Purina veterinarian),  but Cat Chat With Caren and Cody only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers.


Hi all it's Cody! We don't have any kids in our house, but we know that many of you do!! Today many kids are heading "Back-to-School". This is the time that many cats and woofies who live with kids   may start to feel lonely or experience separation anxiety. You don't have to have kids for your pets to experience separation anxiety. The signs of separation anxiety and the tips offered to help deal with it are beneficial to anyone who has pets and might be leaving home for a period of time due to any sort of a change in routine, (new job, travel etc.).



A PARTIAL LIST OF SIGNS OF
 SEPARATION ANXIETY:

Improper Urination-many kitties could choose to not use their litter box and woofies many have accidents in the house.

Excessive Barking or Howling- we once had two woofies who lived in our building that used to do this when their parents weren't home. It used to work the woofies into a frenzy and can be concerning to those listening to it happening for many hours.

Change of Appetite-not eating or overeating (ok, I overeat but that's totally different!)

Pacing-that is often a sign of an anxious pet!

Feeling sad and lonely sure isn't fun!

Recently Mom and I were offered the chance to listen to Purina Veterinarian, Dr.Kurt Venator share his Top 5 Tips to Address Separation Anxiety in Pets during Back-to-School Season, and since we want to help kitties and woofies who experience this to feel better, here they are! (Oh and some have a little editorial from MOI!!)


HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR PET?

1) Get your pet into a routine. Pets love routine because it makes them feel secure. If I don't get my meals at the time that I am used to eating, watch out! During the summer, kids are always around to make things entertaining and exciting for their pets. When they suddenly disappear, some cats and dogs will feel sad and confused while others may experience real separation anxiety. As a result  it is important that pet owners help get their pet acclimated to the change by replacing the old schedule with a new one, such as allocating time to play with them after work or keeping a consistent schedule when coming and going from the house.  

2) Burn off some energy. Some pets deal with separation anxiety by becoming destructive (e.g. howling, chewing on objects or other parts of the house). A great way to keep your dog from doing this is by taking them on a walk in the morning before you leave the house to help burn off some of that extra energy. For cats, consider playing with them at night as well – whether it’s making them chase a feather wand or play with a ball. 



3) Create an interactive environment: Back-to-school season is a great time to buy your pet a new, interactive toy to play with. This will help mentally stimulate them and keep them occupied during the day when the kids are away at school. For dogs, chew toys are a way for them to relieve their anxiety, frustration and boredom. For cats, creating a play area where they can be entertained even when you’re not home, can help ease the separation anxiety. This can include having things like scratching posts or cat furniture in your home.

4) Turn up the tunes and start with baby steps. Try leaving some soothing music on at your home while everyone is out of the house. The music will help drown out distracting noises that your cat and dog  may mistakenly associate with the kids coming home. Some animal shelters have even found that playing calming music helps the pets in their facilities relax. My Mom and Dad often turn the TV on for Dakota and I, and when they return home they find us in the living room together, right in front of the TV! Additionally, get your pets comfortable with noises that may indicate your departure. For example, jingle your car keys occasionally and practice opening and closing the door to get them accustomed to noises that could increase anxiety.



5) Spend time with your pet. It’s important to remember that while you may have had a long day, your pet may have been sitting at home feeling lonely waiting for you to come home. Spending some quality time with your pet at the end of the day is critical to helping keep them active and mentally sharp. It may be tough to fit into a busy work or school schedule, but be sure to build some interactive time – whether it’s a walk or cuddle session – to show your pets you care.

I sure hope that these tips help all of you kitties and woofies who might be feeling sad when the little humans head to school!

You can get more information by visiting  www.petcentric.com.

Love, Cody


41 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. you are most welcome! Our pleasure! Thanks for YOURS today too! Love, Cody

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  2. Grreat tips !
    At our house the radio is always on and my mom-person have up till now sometimes fill my treatball so I have something to do while she is at work. We are not sure how we are solwing this with a woffie in the house ? I guess he will smash my treatball and take all the treats *MOL*

    XOXO

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    1. Charlie you have a smart mama!! The treatball is a great idea too, we do that for Dakota but not Cody, maybe I should do it for Cody too. Good idea! You may want to get a baby gate (if you don't already have one) to keep Conrad away from your treats. We have one set up to separate Cody's toys and litter so that Dakota can't get to it. Cody also eats in the kitchen and Dakota isn't permitted to (aren't we awful!?)...I didn't want to have to worry about having him under foot in our small kitchen while I cook (with his long fur!!), and I wanted Cody to have a "haven" away from him if he wants one. If I give Cody a treat ball it would be well away from Dakota! xoxo

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  3. Great tips. It's good to be able to recognize separation anxiety whether you have kids or not!

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    1. Yep! That's why I mentioned above that the same tips can be applied to any significant change in schedule, I totally agree!

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  4. great advice, my dogs wait by the door for the school bus in the late afternoon for the kids to come home!!

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    1. oh that is adorable! Isn't it amazing how they "KNOW?"

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  5. How cute is this post!!! I didn't think of how going back to school/work affects pets but these little tips really help! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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    1. thanks so much! Yep it truly does and the tips that the Dr. provided are great!! Have a great day! xoxo

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  6. Fantastic post mew guys, we really enjoyed it - GREAT TIPS! PAWESOME!

    Purrs

    Basil & Co xox

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  7. I remember all the years poor Admiral had to be by herself but the TV was on. I worked 12 hr shift rotation with lots of OT. She slept with me days and nights. That was about our only time together except the days I was off...after I got all the shopping, appointments and chores done. It's a shame and looking back, I wish I could have done more and better for her.

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    1. Nooooo!!!!!! I know from reading your blog that Admiral was deeply, deeply loved and she knew that too!
      It was the same for me and my Angel Bobo. He was an "only" like Admiral and I lived alone with him for most of his life and was gone virtually the same hours as you...I was gone sooo much! But he knew he was deeply loved.
      My life (and yours), was different at the time and we do what we have to do!!!!
      xoxoxo

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  8. I noticed that pets pick up on their humans' feelings somehow. If you tell them in a relaxed way that you will be back very soon, they'll understand. But if you panic in response to their separation anxiety, it usually gets worse.

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    1. Generally I agree with that. Frankly, mostly for trips to the vet. I have never had a problem with any of my pets going to the vet because I try to "keep it light" Admittedly, it's harder if it isn't a "wellness visit.", but I try to keep it light and I sing to them in the car. If I am not the one driving, I sit in the back seat with Cody and Dakota while Dad drives...if I am driving (that would usually be Cody with me), I turn his carrier so that I can talk to him and pet him while I drive.
      Cody and Dakota don't have separation anxiety, Cody gets anxious if we are home past meal time, then we find him at the door pacing when we return lol.
      I used to be calm with my Angel Bobo whenever I left and he was ALWAYS waiting at the window for me, didn't matter how calm I was. He was the "only" pet and I think that has something to do with it too. I think when they have company (another pet with them), they aren't as stressed.

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  9. Excellent post. My kitties are lucky, we never leave them alone for more than a half hour and when we have to be out longer they have Grammie to come stay with them.

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    1. thank you!! They sure ARE lucky for sure!!

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  10. Those were darn good tips! Here's another tip, get that boy cat 6 sisters to keep him entertained...and awake!

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  11. Yep, sage advice here. Our Little Bit is on a routine and she will tell you if you aren't on time. It's a good thing.

    Have a purrfect day Cody. My best to your peeps. ♥♥♥

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    1. Little Bit is like Cody, OMG does he ever have an internal clock! I think ALL cats do, even more so than dogs. Dakota is our "sleeping beauty", if Cody didn't wake everyone up to eat (BEFORE the crack of dawn), Dakota would sleep til at least 8....seriously! Sending love back to you! Hope you are having the BEST birthday ever! xoxoxo

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  12. I think I am the only one suffering from back to school anxiety in my house. My girls first day was today, so big change in the house. :(
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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    1. ((((hugs)))) read your blog earlier and I could feel the sadness :( It was one of your shortest posts ever!! All will be fine!!! xoxoxo
      We love you!

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  13. Cody you sure do give some excellent advise. Mom and Dad are stay at home peeps now so we rarely have any time we are all alone, at least for very long.

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    1. Thank you but it was the good doctor who gave the tips! (we already do some of them though!) I was the messenger ;)
      Mom and Dad are "homebodies" too, but when they are gone it is usually for HOURS!!!
      Love, Cody

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  14. Good tips friend. Thank goodness we don't deal with this stuff
    Lily & Edward

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    Replies
    1. thank you and you are welcome!!!!! Thank goodness you don't deal with it is right!!! Love, Cody

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  15. Great post Caren! Wes sure gets separation anxiety here! Yous should has seen us last week when Mommy was gone for a night visiting her Aunt. Its funny, cuz when she was going to Calgary last year, Cinnamon, Kozmo and Jo Jo hardly noticed...this summer, Daddy has to contend with 4 upset animals!
    Kisses
    Nellie
    PS Our post did not gets published last night so the finish the sentence game is going until Noon (Pacific) tomorrow! Get your entry in now

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  16. Great and timely tips! It's important to dispel the myth that cats don't have separation anxiety like dogs do.

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  17. Pawsum posty Cody and those awe gweat tips. We awe rarely left behind, but when it duz happen mommy always leaves the teevee on fur us. Have a pawsum day.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

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  18. Great post Cody ! We're lucky kitties, Mum and Dad organize their schedule so that we're never left alone for a long time ; and they have almost the same schedule on workday and on vacation ! Purrs

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    1. thank you!! You ARE lucky!!!!!! Please tell your Mom I am getting over to your blog soon! I feel bad cause it goes to our secondary email account that I don't get into every day. I need to try and move you to my main one so I can keep up! I am so sorry! xoxo

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  19. We are lucky because there is almost always somebody home.
    We feel bad for a dog who lives not far away from our house. His is alone outside, in his garden, during the whole day. He keeps on barking. It's terrible, it's a young dog.
    Ronrons
    Hisia

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    1. you are lucky for sure!! My heart breaks for that dog. Maybe someone should tell the owner? It's possible that they don't know that the dog is as upset as it is. I would think that someone would say something. xoxo

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  20. These are some great tips, Cody! Truffles definitely used to suffer from separation anxiety.

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  21. Great tips! Mom leaves the radio on for us.
    We still don't like her going away every day.
    She does give us attention when she comes home though :)
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ

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  22. We have grandma wif us all day long, but like our humans, we ignore her too!

    Emma and Buster

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  23. Those are some great tips...even if there aren't any kids going to school.

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  24. Happy Back to School! Our unfurbro-the-younger went back to school, too...Grad School, that is, MOL!

    Thanks fur the info, we hadn't really evfur thought about that...cause meowmy wasn't working outside the den when the boys here were younger.

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