Dealing with Owner Separation Anxiety
Separation Anxiety is one of the most common issues as Pet Professionals ‘Your Critter Sitter’ deals with. While it is normal for a pet owner to be concerned about their pet’s daily care in their absence, for some pet owners leaving their pet brings on acute feeling from general unease to overwhelming fear and guilt at abandoning the pet, and for some, physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat and breathing, sweating and muscle tension.
Triggered by a general sense that some unspecified harm might come to the pet while they are absent, some owners are reluctant to even leave their pets, unable to take holidays or even leave their home overnight. Others cope with their feelings by trying to control every outcome that might eventuate, leaving long lists of instructions, pages of carefully prepared detail about the pet’s feeding routine, daily habits and behavior. With their own overwhelming sense of guilt at abandoning their pet, they endeavor to have the career treat the pet in the same manner they do themselves believing that this will reduce their own sense of guilt and provide a substitute in their absence. The stronger the emotional attachment to the pet and the more important the relationship the greater the anxiety experienced by the pet owner.
Colleagues, family and friends may view this Separation Anxiety as laughable and irrational and not understand how real and debilitating it is for you, the pet owner. We as Pet Professionals know and understand your feelings. We know how important it is to find the right career, to trust them with your pet and to know that your pet’s safety is assured. We know that your pet is more than just a cat, a dog, bird or fish, but an important family member, you’re ‘baby’, and the loss of your pet would be unthinkable and heartbreaking.
In choosing a Pet Sitter trust your instinct and your pet’s behavior. Make a time for a complimentary ‘Meet and Greet’ where you can meet the Pet Professional in your own home so you can gage your own and your pet ‘s reaction. Watch to see if the Sitter takes the time to greet your pet and if the Sitter makes the pet feel comfortable. Check how your cat or puppy reacts to the Pet Sitter? Were they relaxed in their present? Did they respond to the Sitter’s voice and body language? When you asked questions did you feel heard and were your concerns taken seriously? Ask for updated messages and photos during the time you’re away. While you’re away check in with the Sitter when you feel your anxiety levels rising. Communication with your Pet Sitter is the best way to cope with separation anxiety. And remember to breathe!
Your Critter Sitter, Heather & Hannah, Your Pet Professionals.