Displaying items by tag: Separation anxiety




Sharon L. Campbell, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Medical Lead & Behavior at Zoetis Petcare 


Most pet parents are aware that ‘the pet effect’ is real and that pets contribute to our emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. But, do many pet parents think about their pet’s mental health?  May is Mental Health Awareness Month and while our pet’s mental state isn’t as complex as our own, they do experience a wide range of emotions: from love and joy to anxiety and fear. And while they can’t tell us how they’re feeling, they do show us through behaviors and cues we can learn to tune-in to. Over this past year, many pet owners have grown accustomed to spending most of their time with their pet at home. As pandemic restrictions start to ease and we begin returning to life outside the home, it is important to keep our pet’s mental health in mind as well as our own wellness – so taking a proactive approach to your furry friend’s mental health is more important than ever.  

On May 25th, Veterinarian Dr. Sharon L. Campbell of animal health company Zoetis will be available to discuss the bond between pets and pet parents as well as how to recognize signs of your pet's mental health issues early. She can also share vet-approved pet care guidance and at-home tips - all to help you be the best pet parent ever.  

Dr. Campbell’s Tips Include 7 Key Topics to Address Pet Mental Health: 

·         Training: Pets love being good at things! And they also love knowing that they're making you proud. By keeping your pet on their toes with consistent training, you can keep their brain health engaged and in great shape.

·         Routine: Even though they can’t tell time, pets love having a routine. Whether it’s sleeping, eating, potty time, or exercising – establishing a routine around their day helps them feel comfortable and safe.

·         Positive experiences: Shielding your pet from something might seem like the natural response. But did you know you can help them get accustomed to things like noise by combining different activities (and treats!) with these types of triggers? Confidence also plays a big role here and different types of training can help with that.

·         Health: Because pets can't speak, you're their most important advocate. Whether they are subtle or more meaningful signs, your pet's behavior can give you clues about their physical health. That’s also why it’s important to schedule regular check-ups with your vet – they can help you identify things that are not immediately obvious to you.

·         Data: New survey findings from Zoetis about pet parents and their views on pet wellness to be available in advance of interview 

For more information, visit: www.ZoetisPetcare.com   


Dr. Campbell received her DVM degree from University of Wisconsin and completed a residency in internal medicine and a master’s degree at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She was a Clinical Instructor at the University of Tennessee for 2 years, then worked at a private referral hospital for many years before joining Zoetis, where she is a Medical Lead for the pain management, anesthesia, sedation, behavior and anti-infectives portfolio of medications.  Dr. Campbell is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. She is Fear Free Certified and is on the Fear Free Advisory Board. 


Pet Behavior Scientist Offers Tips on How to Address Separation Anxiety and Create a Smooth Transition into the Post-Pandemic World
DR. RAGEN MCGOWAN, Pet Behavior Scientist at Purina
It’s estimated that of the nearly 90 million dogs in the U.S., 20 to 40 percent taken to veterinary behavioral specialists are affected by separation anxiety. Luckily for our furry friends, the pandemic has kept many of us at home, making them some of the happiest members in the household. On the flip side, some of our pets are counting down the days until kids go back to school and offices reopen so they can have the house to themselves again. Either way, as we look to leave the house more, it’s important for families to start preparing their pets for this transition period.
Dr. Ragen McGowan has been involved in animal behavior research for more than 20 years and is available to share best practices on how to help your pets handle the transition.
·         MONITOR YOUR PET’S BEHAVIOR: Transitioning back to in-person school and work will be a big change that may bring out anxious behaviors in some pets like increased vocalization, unusual behavior or even depression. It’s important to monitor your pet’s behavior to see if they’re struggling emotionally.
·         PETS THRIVE ON ROUTINE: There are a few ways we can help pets get reacclimated to their new schedule before the time comes, including scheduling their morning and evening walks at the same time each day.
·         EASE INTO THE TRANSITION: For some pets, a closed door can send a message of separation, while others may need to be reintroduced to their crates or encouraged to spend time in a calm, quiet part of the house for part of the day.
For tips on everything from separation anxiety to nutrition and training, please visit www.purina.com/expertise.



Dr. Ragen McGowan is a Pet Behavior Scientist who has been with Purina for more than 10 years. Dr. McGowan has been involved in animal behavior research for over 20 years, using a holistic approach that incorporates behavior, physiology and endocrinology. She earned bachelor’s degrees in Zoology and Foreign Language and a PhD in Applied Ethology from Washington State University. Her post-doctoral research focused on emotionality in dogs and explored new methodology to objectively evaluate positive emotions, including studying the “Eureka Effect” (emotional reactions to learning). Through her research, Dr. McGowan aims to create products that cater to pets’ behavioral and emotional needs, and to better understand the human-animal bond from the pet’s perspective. Dr. McGowan has a passion for sharing her vast knowledge of pet behavior and the human-animal bond. In addition to speaking at a variety of events for Purina, she is a contributing scientific expert for the Collegiate Animal Welfare Competition, Companion Animal Nutrition Summit, Gut Microbiome Roundtable and Dognition podcast.  

Produced for: Purina