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It’s so hard to say goodbye, according to dogs

Posted On: Feb. 24, 2022 10:59 AM CST


While kissing and hugging your dog before you leave your home might make you feel better about potential separation anxiety, Nationwide is on your dog’s side when it comes to what is considered normal for most dog owners.

The caresses, kisses and goodbye playing is likely causing them more stress, the insurer found. 

Following a survey of 2,200 pet owners in December 2021, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., which provides pet insurance, found that 87% of pet “parents” have some sort of goodbye routine: 65% give them a pet; 40% give them a kiss; 42% just say goodbye; 33% play with them before leaving; and 30% give them a treat.

But saying goodbye could cause additional stress for pets that suffer from separation anxiety, according to Nationwide’s chief veterinary officer.

“If a pet is suffering from separation anxiety, performing a specific, ritual ‘goodbye’ behavior with them can trigger or heighten their fearful behavior,” said Dr. Jules Benson. “The best course is to consult your veterinarian about ways to treat a pet’s separation anxiety, which will likely include behavior modification training focused on when pet parents leave the house.”