SepAnx: When Pets are Left Behind

One thing that I'm very worried about is leaving pets at home while traveling. Separation Anxiety (SepAnx) kicks in. I think most an...

One thing that I'm very worried about is leaving pets at home while traveling. Separation Anxiety (SepAnx) kicks in. I think most animal lovers can relate to this. It hurts me to see those puppy dog eyes, to hear those loud tweets, to watch those graceful strokes, and to feel and hear those lovely purrs before heading out for a day or a week.

"Do they get sad or lonely without us?"
I wondered if pets get really sad when we leave them behind. Based on my observation and research, they get sad. Some pets even get depressed. They stay near things with familiar smell of their owners. Or they look out of a window and wait for their owners' arrival. I am just blessed that our pets have not experienced extreme loneliness. But of course, little signs of loneliness and extreme excitement show whenever we reunite with them. Some fishes surprisingly die when my parents, especially my Dad, travels abroad. But I am so thankful that this has not happened to our bigger animals.

Totoro and Ratatou

Glad to be Back (the morning after he returned from an uninformed day trip)

Big-eyed Jiji getting anxious
Sleeping on my foot the night before we left for Japan
I already thought about putting a pet in a travel crate. But I have never tried it. A few months ago, I was looking for a travel crate for my cat Jiji because I wanted her cage to serve a double purpose: Land and Air Travel. Luckily, I didn't have to buy any because my Dad bought a pink (so girly) travel crate for her last month. We usually use it when we make a visit to the veterinarian clinic. However, pets traveling by air can cost a lot. They even need microchips in order to travel from one country to another. One Datamars microchip costs around $39.50 (P1861.93). It requires a lifetime registration based on this Pet Travel Store. There is no need for this yet but it helps a lot if pets get lost.

I also wondered how our pets would react when my family and I would come back from a trip. We actually witnessed the difference between our pets' welcome greetings when we came home from Japan. Our dogs greeted us excitedly with their tails wagging and their paws touching our legs. Our cat, on the other hand, did not welcome us back with open arms. She avoided us and walked straight to her drinking bowl instead. When I lifted her up and carried her in my arms, she didn't budged but she looked at us with wide eyes and acted as if we were total strangers. When I released her on the floor, she sniffed our luggages and played with the straps and tags. She only started licking our hands and feet when she finished roaming around our things. She even gave Mom a scratch on the face due to her anxiety. She obviously missed us and felt lonely but couldn't show her feelings outwardly. The way a cat warms up to its owner is totally different from a dog's way. Cats are totally introverts while dogs are outrageously extroverts!

The language of animals is very difficult to read. It is similar to reading a person. But this is good because I am learning to be selfless through supporting and taking care of others and keeping a relationship healthy and intact. I feel like I have a child to take care of and converse with, and a companion to say goodbye and go back to every single day.

So I guess I am writing this blog to assure myself that SepAnx is AOK. Missing our pets and allowing them to miss us once in awhile have advantages too. Anxiety will surely occur for sure. But the owners and their pets absolutely need the separation or "some space." It is part of the owner-pet relationship, okay? Okay.

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