Pets With Anxiety: How to Help Before, During, and After a Move

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Guest Writer: Sarah Hollenbeck

Moving is an exciting time and a fresh start for many. However, with an anxious pet, it can be difficult to ease their nerves in an unfamiliar environment. Your new home might be overwhelming to them, causing an increase in anxiety and bad behavior. Thankfully, there are various ways to help your furry friend feel at home when moving. Below is a guide from the team at MyMove on how to move pets safely before, during, and after your move.

Before the Move

  • Make sure your home has sufficient space so that your pet has room to run and get in exercise.  
  • Before the move, try and set up their bed and play area beforehand to decrease stress when your pet arrives. 
  • If you can, consider bringing your dog to the new home early on to explore the area. This way, when it comes time to move, they will already be familiarized with the location.  
Relocating with Pets
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Stay with Me: Helping Your Dog Cope with Separation Anxiety

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Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes

Dog with separation anxiety

Photo by Andrew Welch on Unsplash

20-40% of all dogs are estimated to experience separation anxiety at some point in their lives (College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign). Separation anxiety is a serious behavioral problem that has a critical impact on pets and their owners. Some signs of anxiety and stress are destructive behavior, self-harm, restlessness, and an inability to eat. While pet owners might see these behaviors as being vindictive, they are not. They are symptoms that your pet is stressed and unhappy when you are away. If you are a pet owner and notice that your dog exhibits certain symptoms of separation anxiety, there are things that you can do to improve care and help cope with stress for an overall wellbeing.

The Causes of Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety among pets is not well understood. A few existing research studies indicate that dogs that are abandoned and/or abused like rescue animals are likely to feel anxious. Certain breeds of dog are also susceptible to the disorder such as Labrador Retrievers or German Shepherds. Emotional distress is the primary reason for anxiety disorder and manifests when the owner is absent or not around. If you notice that your pooch suddenly starts whining or pacing as soon as you put on your shoes or grab your coat in preparation to leave the house, they might be feeling anxious. What you see when you are back home might even confirm your suspicion that your dog has a separation anxiety issue. Is your sofa chewed in several places? Maybe, you’ll find feces and urine that are more frequent when you are away. Your dog also becomes hyperactive, starts barking, howling and scratching without good reason. These are the typical symptoms of separation anxiety. It makes you both nervous and unhappy which is why you should get help immediately. Continue reading