Pet owner survey reports separation anxiety statistics

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A survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of PetMeds, collected data from pet owners in various areas surrounding separation anxiety when owners have to leave their pet alone for a period of time. Two thousand pet owners were surveyed and overall PetMeds found that leaving their pets at home alone is a significant source of stress for pet owners, with 44% of respondents expressing concerns about their pets having separation anxiety.1 Additionally, 40% of respondents said they would take a pay cut or lower salary to work from home with their pet.

Some survey results include:1

When you leave for work…

  • 48% said their pets followed them to the door and looked sad.
  • 33% said their pets complain.
  • 22% said that their pets seem anxious and pace around.

In addition…

  • 41% arrange for a friend or family member to check on them.
  • 31% use pet cameras to monitor their pets’ activities.
  • 42% have observed a change in their pet’s mental health and behavior in the last 2 years.
  • 52% reported seeing general separation anxiety in pets.

“We love to see a strong connection between pets and their humans — that’s what being a pet parent is all about,” said Lindsay Butzer, DVM, veterinarian and PetMeds Partner. “Of course, it’s always a good idea to seek professional help if you notice serious changes in your pet’s behavior or health. A pet telehealth appointment can be a quick and convenient way to answer any questions you have .1

Pet owners reported that they did not feel confident in knowing their pet’s behavior and were not sure if these signs of separation anxiety could also be signs of health problems. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they wanted more support and guidance in understanding their pets’ health and behaviors, and 70% would be willing to try telehealth services if available.1

Some of the main concerns that pet owners have when they are separated from their pets include:1

  • Loneliness or boredom (52%)
  • Separation anxiety (44%)
  • Access to food and water (36%)
  • Health problems or emergencies (33%)
  • Animal that escapes or gets lost (31%)
  • Destructive behavior (25%)
  • Handling of animals by other people (14%)

“This research confirms what we already know: People love their pets and prioritize being with them,” said Matt Hulett, president and CEO of PetMeds. “What’s eye-opening is how many pet parents feel their own sense of separation anxiety and loneliness when they’re away from their pets—a concept that highlights the pivotal role our pets play in our life”.1

With these data, veterinary professionals should have conversations with clients about separation anxiety or animal behavior in general. Since more than half of the respondents in this particular survey indicated that they wanted more professional guidance with the health of their animals, the best place for them to receive this advice is from their trusted veterinary team. At the 2023 Convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Valli Parthasarathy, DVM, DACVB, stated that the distinction between normal and abnormal behaviors can help support clients who are concerned about the health of their animals.2


  1. 4 in 10 pet owners get paid to work from home with their pets. News release. PetMeds. September 8, 2023. Accessed October 31, 2023. ~:text=Four%20in%2010%20pet%20parents,%20thoughts%20about%20times%20of the owners.
  2. Parthasarathy V. Normal but nuisance-treating unruly behaviors in dogs. Presented at: AVMA Convention; Denver, Colorado. July 16, 2023.

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