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Does Your Pet Have Post-Summer Separation Anxiety?

SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ --Fall 2009 - Back to school time creates a dramatic shift in family schedules, which can have a devastating impact on family pets that have spent more time with their owners over the summer vacation season. PurinaCare(R) Pet Health Insurance (, which is committed to help pet owners provide a lifetime of care for their pets, is urging all pet owners to be aware of the signs of post-summer separation anxiety in both dogs and cats. Pets suffering from post-summer stress can exhibit a wide range of abnormal behaviors as families return to school and work.

Signs of Post-Summer Separation Anxiety include:

  • Hyper-salivation or drooling
  • Soiling the pet owner's belongings
  • Chewing or scratching at doors or crate
  • Non-stop howling, barking, meowing
  • Compulsive grooming or licking
  • Tearing up furniture or pushing items off counters

"Dogs are naturally social animals and especially sensitive to loneliness this time of year. The family fills the role of 'the pack' and in their absence; dogs can feel abandoned and become quite destructive," says Dr. Bill Craig, DVM, Chief Medical and Underwriting Director of PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance. "Teaching dogs that their owners will return and the 'pack' will be reunited is the key to alleviating the stress of post-summer separation anxiety."

Prepare your Pet for Post-Summer Routines:

  • Wean them into new post-summer schedule. Give positive reinforcement with praise and treats for appropriate behavior
  • Resume normal leash / walking schedules
  • Take the drama out of leaving - grab your coat and keys at times when you are not leaving so your pet doesn't connect the action with being alone
  • Create a pet safe haven - a well-lit area where the family "pack" normally gathers, keep the TV or radio running, leave plenty of toys and safe clothing / items with family scents on them
  • Don't punish bad behavior related to anxiety; it will only reinforce the stress
  • For pets with severe stress, medications are available. They will rarely work alone without a behavior modification regimen. A veterinarian must prescribe these drugs

PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance covers behavioral modification therapy for separation anxiety performed by a licensed veterinarian in a clinical setting for medical reasons and covers prescription medication for separation anxiety prescribed by a licensed veterinarian. For information about PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance policies, go to or call 1-877-8-PURINA.

About PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance

PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance, Inc. is dedicated to providing pet owners with a Lifetime of Care(TM) for their pets. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Nestle Purina PetCare Company, PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance, Inc. offers PurinaCare(R) Pet Health Insurance to pet owners in most states and promotes responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement, and the positive bond between people and their pets. For more information about PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance, go to

SOURCE PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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