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Pet owner survey reports separation anxiety statistics


The survey found 63% of pet owners would like more guidance in understanding their pet’s health and behaviors

New Africa / stock.adobe.com

New Africa / stock.adobe.com

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

Some results from the survey include:1

When leaving for work…

  • 48% said that their pets follow them to the door and look sad.
  • 33% said that their pets whine.
  • 22% said that their pets seem anxious and pace around.


  • 41% arrange for a friend or family member to check on them.
  • 31% use pet cameras to keep an eye on their pets' activities.
  • 42% have observed a change in their pet's mental health and behavior in the past 2 years.
  • 52% reported seeing overall 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 care if you observe any serious changes in your pet’s behavior or health. A pet telehealth appointment can be a fast and convenient way to answer any questions you have.”1

Pet owners reported not feeling confident in knowing their pet’s behavior and unsure whether these signs of separation anxiety could also be signs of health issues. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they would like more support and guidance in understanding their pet's health and behaviors, and 70% would be willing to try telehealth services if available.1

Some of the top concerns pet owners have when they are away from their pets include:1

  • Loneliness or boredom (52%)
  • Separation anxiety (44%)
  • Access to food and water (36%)
  • Health issues or emergencies (33%)
  • Pet escaping or getting lost (31%)
  • Destructive behavior (25%)
  • Other people's handling of the pet (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 underscores the pivotal role our pets play in our lives.”1

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


  1. 4 in 10 pet owners would take a pay cut to work from home with their pets. News release. PetMeds. September 8, 2023. Accessed October 31, 2023. https://swnsdigital.com/us/2023/09/4-in-10-pet-owners-would-take-a-pay-cut-to-work-from-home-with-their-pets/#:~:text=Four%20in%2010%20pet%20parents,owners'%20thoughts%20about%2013%20times.
  2. Parthasarathy V. Normal but nuisance—dealing with unruly behaviors in dogs. Presented at: AVMA Convention; Denver, Colorado. July 16, 2023.
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