Pets and separation anxiety: Experts reveal how to settle your pet when you return to work

      Good Move works with pet experts to reveal the best ways to settle pet anxiety once the nation returns to work

Nearly half (44%) of households think that pets make a house a home,1 but as much as we love them, pets can wreak havoc on our homes, as research by regulated property buyers, Good Move reveals2.

With the nation given the green light to return to work from Saturday 1st August, this can be a stressful time for pets, having to adjust to having their owners leave them after being around them for so long. In turn, this can cause them to be more destructive.

Good Move spoke with pet owners across the country to determine the most common damages our furry friends cause when we’re not around. The top five are as followed:

1.       Dug up flowers/grass in the garden (35%)

2.       Ripped furnishings including sofas, chairs, and cushions (29%)

3.       Urinated/pooed on furnishings including sofas, beds, and carpets (28%)

4.       Scratched furnishings including doors and cabinets (28%)

5.       Chewed their owners favourite shoes and clothes (26%)

So, how do you combat this and help ease your pet’s anxiety once you return to work to ensure they don’t wreak havoc on your home?

Joe Nutkins, Kennel Club & Hoopers Accredited Dog Trainer at Dog Training for Essex and Suffolk says: “As we are seeing more people soon to be returning to work, there are going to be lots of changes for our pets. Anxiety in pets can manifest by barking, whining, or howling, toileting, often near the door you left through, or destroying furniture. Now is the time to be preparing them to be on their own more often to help combat separation anxiety. 

“Try implementing Pro-Active Ignoring (no eye contact, no talking, and no touching) for 5-10 minutes each day. This helps your pet see there are times where they won’t get attention and prepare them for the times when you’re not around. I’d also recommend playing some sound in your home when you’re not there, such as the TV or radio, as this will help comfort your pet and make them think there are other people in the home with them.”

And Dr. Heather Venkat, Companion Animal Veterinarian at VIP Puppies shares her top tips for dealing with pets and separation anxiety once the nation returns to work:

“Anxiety is a common condition in pets, but there are many ways pet owners can help with their anxiety. If you have a dog, hire a dog walker to take your pup out in the middle of the day, or drop them off at doggie day-care so that they can be distracted playing with other dogs.  There are also certain apps you can use to record your voice or talk to your pet in the middle of the day to make them feel like you’re around.

“It’s important to not make a big deal of your arrival back home or have a long, drawn-out goodbye when you leave home either, to help your pet be less anxious when you are gone. You can also start by leaving home in short bursts, gradually leading up to your normal workday. Your pet won’t be as anxious if you get them used to you being gone.”

Commenting on the research findings, Nima Ghasri, Director at Good Move, says: “It’s no secret that we all love our furry companions, but the little devils can cause damage to our household contents, as our research has revealed, and this can be in part due to them experiencing bigger problems, such as separation anxiety.

“We hope our expert tips will help pet owners and homeowners alike to help their pets feel comfortable being alone once they return to work, and in turn hopefully make them stop destroying our homes too!”

For more information on the research and for Good Move’s advice on selling your home, go to:

Author: Editorial Team

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