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Are You Leaving Your Pet Alone?

Many of us can't stay home with our pets all day long, but that doesn't mean you can't have a happy dog or cat. As with children, quality can help make up for lack of quantity, according to animal behaviorist and CALLING ALL PETS host Patricia "Trisha" McConnell. "What's really important is what happens before you leave the house and after you get home," says McConnell. In her case, McConnell's dogs get a lot of attention and exercise before she leaves for work in the morning and again when she gets home in the evening. According to McConnell. As for spending time alone, animals need more sleep than humans anyway- up to 12 hours for dogs and cats, McConnell says. They have natural energy cycles with high energy from early to mid-morning and again from mid-afternoon to late evening. So it is possible that these industrial-strength nappers may not miss us as much as we think they do? Just remember, lest you feel guilty about leaving them- you're going to work, while they're going to nap on the couch.

One of the concerns people most often mention about their pets- especially dogs- is something the experts call "separation anxiety". That's a big term that means your dog found creative ways to let you know she didn't like the fact that you left her. She could chew up something that is not her toy, or she might bark until the neighbors call the police. In extreme cases, she may soil your bed or favorite chair. None of these behaviors typically inspires us to be patient, loving and gentle. However, your furry family member is frightened and totally distressed if she is having these behaviors. She would never disappoint you on purpose.

For simple cases of separation anxiety, you may try these remedies:

  • Take your dog out for a long walk, a run or a few minutes of playtime in the morning and evening. This will leave her feeling more content and relaxed.
  • Your pet knows the departure clues when you put on your shoes, turn off the TV, and grab your keys and briefcase on your way out. Try unconditioning your pet to know when you are leaving by changing your predictable patterns.
  • When it is time to leave, just leave quietly. No hugs and kisses, or regretful "Good Byes". These clues might make your pet feel more anxious. Ignore your pet for about 15 minutes before you leave.
  • Prepare a special treat to stuff into a rubber snack toy you can buy at a pet store. Fill it with treats or anything she really likes. Give her the special "Good Bye" stuffed toy when you leave and then be sure to pick up and put the treats away when you get home. Food-motivated pets will focus on the special treat items and not on your departure. You can even freeze rubber snack toys to make them last longer.
  • Create a safe, secure room or space for your dog while you are away. Include their bedding and favorite toys, and provide some normal household sounds by playing a radio or tape of voices and music. Use this room to practice departures and quick returns, with rewards for appropriate behavior, to help condition them to stay calm. Do not begin crate training while a dog is still insecure
  • Sometimes a second furry family member can provide both pets with the security and companionship of a good buddy during the day. Be sure to involve your current pet in the selection process for a good match.

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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