As a pet owner, one of the toughest parts of pet ownership is leaving your pet for long periods of time. Whether it’s to work or on a trip out of town, many pet owners feel a sense of heartbreak when they have to leave their pet behind.
Many pets feel the same way, and with more and more pets trying to adjust to their humans returning to work post-pandemic, it makes total sense why anxiety in dogs is up exponentially. If you’re wondering whether or not your pet is missing you when you’re gone, here are some of the most common signs to look out for.
They find ways to remove their collar. This might seem like a niche behavior, but it’s actually a sign of something bigger going on. When pets want your attention or feel neglected, they’ll act out behaviorally. One of the ways this presents is in them finding ways to remove their collar. This, of course, poses a safety risk to them.
They might escape out the door when you arrive home in their excitement to see you, but if they’ve removed their collar as a display of misbehavior, then it’ll be tough to track them down. One of the reasons they might try to remove their collar is because the noise their tags make while wandering the house looking for you could annoy them.
Choosing a silent tag, such as a silicone pet tag, can help to alleviate this issue. While it won’t change how much they miss you, it can help to distract them from how often they’re wandering around looking for you.
They destroy furniture. This is one of the biggest clues when deciding whether or not your pet misses you. If you notice that furniture or other objects in your home are destroyed whenever you return from your trips or get home from work, then they’re probably experiencing separation anxiety or miss you a lot. Covering your furniture with old sheets or protectors can help to save your furniture from ruin whenever you aren’t around.
You could also spray your furniture with some pet-repelling solutions that don’t destroy the fabric or material of your furniture. Make sure to hide items in canvas totes or higher up on shelves they can’t reach. Cats, of course, are notorious for finding items you think you’ve hidden well. However, doing what you can to hide away the items that they like to destroy can be a way to alleviate their symptoms.
They break into their food bags. Since pets like to destroy things so much when they feel unseen or unheard, it’s important to hide away items like food bags that they might get into to try to get your attention.
If you come home one day and they’ve gotten into their food, either biting a hole open in it or tearing it to shreds, then they might be experiencing separation anxiety and trying to communicate that they miss you being around. Hide their food in plastic containers or put it somewhere they can’t get, such as a closet with a door that shuts all the way.
They follow you from room to room when you’re home. Pets who feel satisfied tend to leave their owners alone, unless they’re hungry or want some cuddles. However, pets who are experiencing separation anxiety tend to spend every waking moment following you around from room to room, waking at the slightest sound of movement to find out whether or not you’re leaving. Where most average pets would spend time sleeping by themselves or give you some space, pets who miss you will do their best to spend every waking moment with you, even if they’re bone tired themselves.
Things You Can Do to Decrease How Much Your Pet Misses You
If you’ve noticed that your pet misses you and might be suffering from separation anxiety, here are some things you can do!
- Talk to their vet. Vets are a great resource, so use them! Your pet’s vet might have some additional suggestions for things you can do or ways you can engage your pet and help them feel more calm, especially when you aren’t home.
- Invest in a pet diffuser. Some companies make natural pet diffusers that you plug into an outlet and they diffuse calming agents to help your pet feel more at ease overall. It’s important you purchase pet-safe diffusers, as many pet owners turn to essential oils as a solution. However, many of the oils that create calming effects in humans are actually toxic to pets. Go the safest route and only choose diffusers that are safe for your furry friends or recommended by your vet.
- Take them somewhere new. If you’re a dog owner, or your pet goes outside with you, try taking them somewhere new to explore. This will give you some extra bonding time with your pet but in a way that doesn’t involve your home. Instead, it gets you both out of the environment that’s causing them stress. Make sure you invest in a quality dog collar and leash set so that your pet stays safe while out with you. Even if you’re letting them run free in a field far from civilization, it’s still important for them to wear a leash so they can stay safe.
- Get a pet camera. Invest in an indoor camera you can use to keep an eye on your pet. Some of the cameras even feature a microphone option, where you can speak through the device to your pet. This is helpful if you see them getting into their food or scratching the furniture. While it might confuse them for a bit hearing your voice but not knowing where to find you, you can also use it as a way to calm them down. Some pets will even realize that your voice is coming from the device, and they’ll go toward it when they hear you.