Ask the Vet About Separation Anxiety in Dogs and Cats

Ask the Vet About Separation Anxiety in Dogs and Cats
Dr. MichaelDym
Dr. Michael Dym

As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Date: Feb 10, 2021
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Won't eat anything
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Question:We just got a foster cat who won't eat any food. She got separated from her family of five years, so at first we thought it was just anxiety, but its been about a week now, and she clearly feels safe in our house. She's a little bit chubby, but is losing weight really fast now that she won't eat. We've tried feeding her wet and dry cat food (she won't even look at it) along with some safe human food like a tiny piece of bread, cheese, and bacon (sniffs but not eat). We have been force-feeding her some wet food at least once a day, and leaving out clean food and water at all times. What should I do to get her to eat cat food?

Answer:At this point I would definitely go ahead and see your veterinarian for some blood work to rule out medical problems. Cats that don't eat for extended periods of time can develop severe liver problems. Try some tuna in water (not oil).

Date: Feb 4, 2021
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: He just cries
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Question:My dog will be 6 February 12th literally cries for everything!! As soon as he sees me walking away he cries. If he is in one room and I leave the room he cries like somebody is hurting him. He will cry from the moment I live thw house until I get back. He also gets in the garbage and chews everything. He is a very excessive chewer when he's left alone. How do I fix this?

Answer:All behavior/anxiety cases are so different, it is hard to recommend anything for your pet without knowing any more about her and behavior problems are so multi-factorial and individualized, it is ideal to work with a behavior specialist in your area that can work directly with him (and you). Some animals do fine with over-the-counter things like Composure (https://www.1800petmeds.com/Composure+Bite+Sized+Chews-prod11251.html) or Solliquin (https://www.1800petmeds.com/Solliquin-prod12093.html) and the Thundershirt (https://www.1800petmeds.com/Thundershirt-prod11310-11310.html) but others need prescription medication from their veterinarian.

Date: Aug 17, 2020
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Barking during separation
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Question:We have a 7 year old Dachsund that barks whenever my wife and I leave him home alone in our new coop apartment where we’ve lived for about 14 months. When we lived in our old house he stayed alone with no problem. He has free run of the house and always has since he was about 6 months old. We’ve tried leaving the tv or radio on for him but that doesn’t distract him. We close the blinds so he can’t see people walking past (we live on the 1st floor). We’ve gotten to the point where we don’t leave together, one of us stays home. Any suggestions?

Answer:All behavior/anxiety cases are so different, it is hard to recommend anything for your pet without knowing any more about her and behavior problems are so multi-factorial and individualized, it is ideal to work with a behavior specialist in your area that can work directly with him (and you). Some animals do fine with over-the-counter things like Composure (https://www.1800petmeds.com/Composure+Bite+Sized+Chews-prod11251.html) or Solliquin (https://www.1800petmeds.com/Solliquin-prod12093.html) and the Thundershirt (https://www.1800petmeds.com/Thundershirt-prod11310-11310.html)

Date: Aug 6, 2020
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Seperation anxiety.
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Question:What can I do to stop my dogs barking when I leave the house? I’ve tried to work on it with her but it only makes her cry more.

Answer:All behavior/anxiety cases are so different, it is hard to recommend anything for your pet without knowing any more about her and behavior problems are so multi-factorial and individualized, it is ideal to work with a behavior specialist in your area that can work directly with her (and you). Some animals do fine with over-the-counter things like Composure (https://www.1800petmeds.com/Composure+Bite+Sized+Chews-prod11251.html) or Solliquin (https://www.1800petmeds.com/Solliquin-prod12093.html) Then here is a link to our article about separation anxiety treatment options: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/separation-anxiety-treatment-dog-cat-29.html

Date: Jun 7, 2020
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Fear and shaking thru a thunderstorm
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Question:I have 30lbs broder terrier have much melatonin to give before a strom.

Answer:Start with 2mg and then inch up if needed. Here is a link to our article about using melatonin: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/can-you-give-dog-melatonin.htm

Date: May 23, 2020
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Sleeping
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Question:I just moved back to my parents house. I have always lived alone. My dog has always slept with me in the same bed and continues too. I have always kenneled her when I leave the house but there was no one ever there. When I leave now and my parents are trying to sleep all she does is bark. What can I do about this so when I do leave at night she doesn?t constantly bark and cry all night?

Answer:Separation anxiety is a very individualized and complex behavior disorder, but very common. All dogs are different, so it is ideal to work with a specialist/trainer in your area that can specifically treat her (and you). Here is our article about separation anxiety - go to the treatment tab for various treatment options after you read the intro: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/separation-anxiety-dog-cat-29.htm

Date: Apr 28, 2020
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Seizures
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Question:My little chawwa has been having seizures more than he has been and needing something to control them

Answer:You will need a prescription from a veterinarian that has met him face-to-face to start medication - they will need to run some blood work as well.

Date: Jan 10, 2020
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Tearing up
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Question:My dog is a pure breed German Shepard. She just turned one this past August. She is normally fine if we are home but if she is in the living room and we are in the bedroom watching tv she gets into the bathroom trash. When we leave she has been extra destructive lately. She chewed up an Xbox controller (this is her fifth one) a wire from a lamp (it wasn?t plugged in) parts of the furniture and now this morning I woke up to the couch having the cushions off it and her tearing the actual couch up. Is this separatation anxiety? How would I help it? I know she is still young but my boyfriend is gone for at least 9 hours at night for work and I?m gone at least 14 hours day and night because of classes and work.

Answer:It could be separation anxiety - it could just be boredom and access to everything so a crate may be all you need. Here is our article all about separation anxiety and potential treatment options, both over-the-counter and prescription: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/separation-anxiety-dog-cat-29.htm

Date: Dec 3, 2019
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: 1
Topic: Babysitting a cat
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Question:My fianc?e travels with his job and leaves on Monday morning and returns Friday evening. He has a female friend who sleeps at his house to care for the cat while he is away. Does the cat need her to be there all this time or would it be okay for her to feed the cat twice a day and clean litter box? My fianc?e says he doesn?t want the cat to be lonely so he has her stay there full time. Is this necessary?

Answer:Is this necessary? No, not really - all cats, kind of like people, are a little different, but it should be fine to just check on the cat twice a day.

Date: Oct 13, 2019
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: 2
Topic: First week of new puppy
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Question:We have wanted to get a puppy for a long time now, and we have had a particular interest in the Golden Retriever. Its general friendliness and allowance of other pets is what drove us to choose this breed. However, we have the problem of spending time with our new puppy, because my mom will leave the house from 8:30 to 12, and I'll have school for the whole day. Is it really necessary to wait until we have one week of vacation, or would it be possible to get it now and just have my mom give him food for lunch.

Answer:The puppy should be fine for 3.5-4 hours if it is left in a safe dog crate at your house, so getting it now or when you have a week break should be fine.

Date: Jul 23, 2019
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Pheromones
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Question:How far away should you place a plug in pheromone from my dogs? There is an outlet next to where the dogs bedding is. Is that too close?

Answer:There are different brands and different concentrations so you will have to read on the packaging.

Date: Jul 22, 2019
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Dementia
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Question:I have a 13 yr old lab who was diagnosed with dementia. Please help me help her. I love her so much and she?s up all night and pants really bad. She also makes a half soft barking sound all day. I want her back. Rose

Answer:Here is a good article about the subject, written by another veterinarian, on a site that I trust: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952637

Date: May 27, 2019
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Separation Anxiety
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Question:What can I give my 20lbs Jack chihuahua for this separation anxiety. Please help.

Answer:All dogs are very different and will respond to different treatments - in fact there are so many, I will attach a link to our article about some of the various treatment options, both over-the-counter and prescription: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/separation-anxiety-treatment-dog-cat-29.htm

Date: May 21, 2019
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Separation anxity
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Question:Why does my bull wawa consistly kiss me

Answer:It is a sign of submission, which is usually a good thing - you don't want your dog to think it's more dominant than you. It can be discouraged like any other behavior, ignoring and not interacting with the pup for a while may work better than noxious stimuli like yelling or popping because that may make the dog more submissive and want to lick more..

Date: Mar 19, 2019
Category: Separation Anxiety
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Epilepsy
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Question:I have a three year Pomeranian and he has these attacks where he can't sit still,eat,go potty or sleep. And he constantly wants me to hold him. He throws his self back against me and his eyes get really big. Could this be a symptom of epilepsy? He also has seizures sometimes 2 a day. He is very tired most of the day. He can be playing and will start to fall asleep. I am worried about him. Thank you

Answer:Epilepsy is certainly a possibility but so are many other things - definitely see your veterinarian for a good neurologic exam and probably some blood work. If you can capture exactly what he's doing on your phone with video, that will be helpful for your veterinarian.

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