What Causes Homesickness?
Children and adults often get homesick, and while it may come as a surprise, so do our pets! Staying overnight in an animal hospital, in a kennel for a few days or at the vet for a few hours can cause your animal to miss their surroundings and become homesick.
Kittens and puppies may also become homesick when they are initially separated from their mothers and brought into your home.
Being homesick and out of their usual surroundings may cause your pet to whine, lose their appetite or become jittery and nervous. Some animals may also suffer with constipation or upset stomach from stress and anxiety.
Help for Homesickness
Your vet may prescribe medications that help to calm your pet, however, keep in mind that these medications may also have side effects, and it may be difficult in the future to wean your pet off these prescribed drugs when they return home.
There are a wide variety of natural ingredients used to help support the animal nervous system without doing harm. Herbal and homeopathic remedies can provide an effective way to lessen the stress and anxiety of an away-from-home stay. Hypericum perforatum, often called ‘Nature’s Prozac’, is one of the best known herbs for treating anxiety, depression and other nervous disorders.
Matricaria recutita has calming properties and will help to soothe your pet and reduce symptoms of stress, while Ignatia and Capsicum homeopathically address grief and pining after separation. Kalium phosphate can help to increase the bio-availability of nutrients, hormones and certain neurotransmitters essential to ensure balanced mood and feelings of well-being.
More Information on Homesickness
Tips to Help Homesickness
For kittens/puppies that have been brought home for the first time:
- Put a ticking clock by the bed (simulates mother’s heartbeat)
- Put a hot-water bottle (37 – 39 degrees Celsius) wrapped in a towel near your kitten or puppy (this will feel like mother’s body)
For overnight stays at the vet or in a kennel:
- Include a piece of old clothing or toy you have handled so that the pet has your scent.
- Stay calm and act cheerful, your pet will pick up on bad vibes.
- Plan to arrive at the kennel about midday, so that the pet only has half a "first day" to endure. Say goodbye quickly, and cheerfully.
- Finally, remember that animals have a strong survival instinct and should be just fine till you return – try not to worry!