Pet Depression and Separation
- By Ian White
Pets develop emotional bonds to their human owners
and when separated from them, pets may suffer from
depression and separation anxiety. There are times
when it becomes necessary to be separated from a pet
such as when having to be hospitalized or taking a
vacation. As much as we may hate being away from a
beloved pet, it may actually be a more stressful
experience for the animal.
Most people develop comfort zones and tend to resist
change because it disrupts their level of comfort
even when the change is positive. Many of us
dont realize that our pets can and often do
react in similar ways. They also have their own
comfort zones and become closely bonded with the
people within their home territory.
When separation occurs and the pet deeply misses
those he is closest to, depression may set in. It is
not uncommon for a pet to grieve itself to death when
its owner dies. Pets can withdraw, become extremely
quiet or in some cases even be a bit hostile when
separated from the owner.
If separation is unavoidable, for instance, when the
owner has to be admitted to the hospital, it is best
to try and make arrangements for the pet to be kept
by someone such as a friend or family member that the
pet is familiar and comfortable with. That way the
pets stay should be less stressful for both the
pet and the owner.
Although many pet owners take their pets along with
them on vacation, others may not choose to do so or
perhaps cannot do so for various reasons. Those who
do not take their pets along on vacation will need to
find a reliable caretaker to look after their pet
while they are gone.
Another option to consider is a house sitter. Pets
are likely to be more comfortable in their
owners absence if they remain in familiar
surroundings rather than being transported to the
home of a friend or relative. If possible, it may be
a good idea to see if someone you trust and that your
pet knows well enough to be comfortable with would be
willing to be your house sitter in your absence.
Pets that become depressed when separated from their
owners may refuse to eat or drink and may become
lethargic. When there is a strong attachment between
pet and owner even being separated for a short length
of time can cause the pet a fair amount of anxiety.
The stress caused by the separation can produce
symptoms of physical illness.
If you must leave your pet with someone else during a
planned absence such as a vacation, take your pet
along with you for a visit to the persons house
that will be caring for the animal, several times in
the weeks before you leave. This will give your pet
an opportunity to inspect the house, become
accustomed to the surroundings and also it will give
the animal a chance to interact with the people and
any pets in the home. It is better to give your pet a
chance to get to know the place where he will be
staying rather than abruptly moving him to a strange
place at the last minute and then leaving him. It
will make the transition easier and hopefully more
pleasant for everyone involved.
Copyright © 2006, Ian White Access 2000 Pty pty ltd
Author Ian White is founder of pet-sitters.biz
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