By Mitu Paul
Pets are cherished members of our families, bringing us joy, companionship, and unconditional love. The way those eyes light up and the tails wag when they even see the slightest sight of you, makes leaving your beloved pet home alone a daunting prospect. Whether it’s for a few hours during the day or an extended period, proper planning and preparation are essential to ensure your pet’s well-being and comfort. Most pets experience anxiety when left alone, leading to distressing behaviours. Separation anxiety can affect both dogs and cats, causing them to exhibit destructive behaviour, excessive barking or meowing, and other signs of distress.
- Creating a safe environment before leaving your pet alone, by removing any hazards, such as toxic plants, chemicals, or small objects that could be swallowed. Close off areas that may be off-limits or contain fragile items. It’s a good idea to provide a designated area with comfortable bedding, toys, and access to food and fresh water.
- Exercise and mental stimulation are vital for pets to stay happy and healthy. Before leaving, make sure your pet has had sufficient exercise, whether it’s a long walk for dogs or playtime for cats. Consider leaving interactive toys or puzzle feeders to keep them engaged while you’re away.
- Pets thrive on routine, so establish and try to maintain a consistent schedule even when you’re not around. Regular meal times, walks, and play sessions can provide a sense of normalcy and reduce anxiety. If you’ll be away for an extended period, consider hiring a pet sitter or arranging for a trusted friend or family member to visit and maintain the routine. Even hiring a pet sitter or using daycare may be worth exploring. These alternatives can provide companionship, socialization, and additional care for your pet during your absence.
- Addressing separation anxiety is a must. Signs of anxiety may include excessive barking, destructive behaviour, or soiling in the house. Consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviourist for advice on managing separation anxiety and potential solutions, such as “Gradual Acclimatization”, “Positive Reinforcement” with some reward for calm behaviour, training techniques or “Calming Strategies” such as pheromone diffusers or sprays specifically designed for pets. These products release comforting scents that can help soothe anxious pets. Additionally, playing soothing music or leaving the television on can create a calming atmosphere.
- Monitoring pets remotely with the advancements in technology, you can now keep an eye on your pet even when not physically present. Consider investing in a pet monitoring system that allows you to check in on your pet via a camera or receive alerts if anything unusual occurs or can even make a video call to your pet. This can provide peace of mind to both, pets as well as their parents.
Our pets are our commitment and leaving them alone for extended periods should be done responsibly and with their well-being in mind. Remember, each pet is unique, so finding the right combination of strategies may take time. With your love and support, you can help your furry friend feel more secure and comfortable when left alone.
Brand Head – Premium Lines , Drools Pet Food Pvt Ltd.