Pets & People — Goodbye is a Pet Stressor


Those with pets usually add some sort of routine when they leave the house for work or for fun. It’s added in with the to-dos. Lights off? Check. Electronics turned off? Yep. Door locked? Got it.

Then there’s the goodbye to Fido or Sylvester the cat, or both.

A study recently done by Nationwide suggests that’s what 87% of us are doing. Of all the age groups, the born between 1997 and 2012, Generation Z — at 94% — are saying goodbye like that the most.

Here’s what we’re doing when we say goodbye:

65% give the pet a pet

40% will kiss their dog or cat goodbye (no info here on fish)

42% just say goodbye (probably reality for fish)

33% play with them before leaving

30% pop a treat in the mouth (probably for fish, too)

Is that what we ought to be doing? Dr. Jules Benson — Nationwide’s chief veterinary officer — says maybe not. We could be stressing out our pets and causing them some sort of separation anxiety. Benson says it might be better to just ignore them and walk out of the house.

If a pet is suffering from separation anxiety, performing a specific, ritual goodbyebehavior with them can trigger or heighten their fearful behavior,” Benson said. The best course is to consult your veterinarian about ways you to treat a pets separation anxiety, which will likely include behavior modification training focused on when pet parents leave the house.”

For a dog that anxiety can end up with whining and pacing or accidents in the house, or it can lead to destructive or aggressive behavior. That’s where Benson points to the accuracy of why a goodbye ought to be done differently.

33% of pet owners say their pets suffer from separation anxiety

12% picked up a web cam to spy on their pets

But is it just the pet that suffers? Maybe not:

40% of those surveyed say they suffer anxiety when separated from their pets

Source link: Nationwide —

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