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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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Tuesday:

10:30 am-5:30 pm

Wednesday:

10:30 am-5:30 pm

Thursday:

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Friday:

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  • "Roxy and i loved our experience with Clinton hill, and our doctor was amazing! She explained everything and answered all my questions. I highly recommend this vet clinic!"
    Amanda Hodge
  • "Always excellent professional care. Staff are empathetic towards pets and pet parents. I highly recommend this clinic. My dogs have been under care there for the past eight years."
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  • "This place specializes in creating great relationships with owners and pets. I've been with Dr. Pamela Dendtler since 2003 ! Awesome care and service."
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  • "We have trusted Dr. Dentler and company with three dogs so far, all of them beloved family members, and time after time she has proven to be extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and intuitive. She has diagnosed tricky conditions other vets have missed, and recently my dog went through surgery with her team... we were treated with such care and concern. All the staff in this office, from LJ at the front desk to the vet techs who help administer care, have treated us-- and our animals-- with respect and dedication. Strongly recommend this place, i have not met a smarter vet in this city."
    KC G
  • "To Dr Dendtler and Staff, I cant begin to tell you how impressed I am with the loving care you have given to my cat Baxter, before and after the much needed surgery. Baxter is so pleased with the outcome; he goes around purring all day."
    Thanks again. -Estelle P.
  • "Dear Pamella, We want to thank all of you so much, not only for the loving care and consideration you showed us last Thursday when we had to say goodbye to Gericho but also for all the years of check-ups and other crisis' that we went through with him. We know it was your good efforts that allowed him to live a full and vigorous 16 years that gave us so much pleasure. Please know that we have always found your staff to be so courteous and helpful all these years."
    Thank you. -Cathy W.
  • "Dear Dr. Dendtler, You were very thorough and caring in treating Buddy. You explained clearly how to protect my dog. I have been to many clinics but you are the best. You were very professional and compassionate. Buddy and I are very grateful. Thanks ever so much to you and your staff."
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  • "Hi Dr Dendtler, Thank you so very much for fixing my eye. I can see clearly now…I can see all obstacles in my way! Love Vernell R"
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