Pets impacted by change as owners return to work

With cases going down means people are headed back to the office, your pet may be feeling separation anxiety.
Vet

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — With cases going down means people are headed back to the office, your pet may be feeling separation anxiety.

While some workers leave home to go back to the office, a local vet says your pet could be impacted by the change.

“The owner starts to grab their keys and they pant or kind of start to get nervous and spin in circles,” said Dr. Jeremiah Vondra.

“Then as they leave, then the owner comes home to a surprise, whether that’s a torn-up couch cushion or toilet paper rolls. We even get some dogs that eat stuff out of the trash or things they find and we have to do surgery on them.”
Dr. Jeremiah Vondra says he is seeing a spike in pet separation anxiety.

He says while he sees the issue in both cats and dogs, some of his dog cases are more serious because they can howl, scratch doors, and cause destruction.

Some owners are returning their pets to shelters and Vondra says this causes more anxiety.

“It can be traumatic on the dog,” said Vondra. “Thus, you’re leading to some more separation anxiety issues because those dogs have to go to different homes and go back to the rescue or shelter than go to a new home. So I guess I would encourage people to if they are thinking about adopting a pet to be in it for the long haul.”

He says to give your pet attention before you head to work.

“For those dogs, we really encourage time,” said Vondra. “Taking those dogs on walks, going to the dog park, playing ball with them, keeping your dog entertained and played with so their a little bit more wore out by the time you leave for work.”

Vondra says leave treats like balls with peanut butter inside or a toy that is distracting as you leave. For severe cases, talk to your vet about behavior training or medication.

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