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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:
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Our older male cat, and my pal, Fu stopped eating and was clearly losing weight. An examination by Dr. Tanya indicated that there was some sort of solid in his stomach. It turned out he had a growth in his intestine that was mostly blocking the flow of nutrients. Tanya's surgery was risky but she removed the part with the growth and put him on a special diet. He's back to his normal weight and attitude and cuddled up next to me on my recliner as I type this. Five stars plus. -Craig Jungers