Post-Maternity Leave Struggle: Coping with Your Pet’s Separation Anxiety

Publication Date: 
Monday, August 18, 2014 - 15:30

Erin is a work-out-of-the-home New Jersey parent, who blogs at Woof Tweet Waah. She tries to find the humor in all situations. For more updates, follow Erin on Twitter, InstagramFacebook and Pinterest.

Image courtesy of Woof Tweet Waah

Adjusting to life post-maternity leave was a struggle. We encountered day care drama and I fought to find the energy to get everything done. 

One day, all the pieces came together for my husband, Matt, and me. We even made our bed. I felt like Super Parent with a milk-stained, sparkly cape.  

That was until I returned home and pulled back the covers on the bed. Screams and panic followed. There in the center of the bed was a Lake Superior-sized puddle of yellow dog pee, and it reeked. Mr. Happy, our dog, had not only urinated all over the bed and pillows, but also had the chutzpah and talent to somehow get the blankets back to look like the bed was still made.

Occasional canine bladder accidents come with dog ownership. But when is it normal behavior versus cause for medical concern? Frequent dog urination can range from medical or behavior issues to the failure to spay or neuter your pets. Your veterinarian is a key partner in addressing frequent dog urination, and the ASPCA website offers fantastic information on dog marking. Solving the problem is often a simple fix (pardon the pun), and low-cost spay/neuter services are offered in many communities.

Our situation fell on the more serious side. After Mr. Happy engaged in other destructive behaviors, our vet referred us to a board-certified veterinarian behaviorist. We learned that Mr. Happy's urination was a byproduct of separation anxiety. Our beloved dog had grown accustomed to having someone at home, and was devastated when his humans left him for the day. Our behaviorist developed a treatment plan, which we continue to tweak based on Mr. Happy's mood. Separation anxiety impacts many animals, and it is important to consult a medical professional so you can get the best help for your pet.  

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