How FOMO Affects Your Dog
We’re living and breathing in the age of social media, keeping tabs on anyone and everyone’s lives within seconds, clicks, and likes. Little did we know that FOMO would be born. We’ve all heard it, but have you ever thought about how much it affects our daily living? Have you ever thought about if your puppers get FOMO everytime you leave the house? It just so happens that pretty much everyone, including animals, may experience FOMO.
In today’s article, we’ll discuss all things FOMO, how experts are encouraging people to take it seriously, and just how it can affect your four-legged best friend. As per usual, this may also help you paw parents better understand how to recognize FOMO as well as how to prevent your dog from experiencing it.
What Even is FOMO?
FOMO is a term that most younger people are familiar with, but it seems to have appeared overnight. Before we start getting into the ways that FOMO may affect your pup, let’s first talk about the roots of FOMO.
Dr. Hernan, a marketing strategist, first coined the term in 1996. It took him four years of research, analysis, and writing, before publishing the academic research article in The Journal of Brand Management on the idea of FOMO in 2000.
Since the mid 90’s, the term has “popped” off. Many people joke about having FOMO or use the phrase lightly in conversation. However, Dr. Hernan has suggested that FOMO shouldn’t be taken lightly.
What Does FOMO Stand For?
FOMO is an acronym for Fear of Missing Out. It sounds silly when you say it for what it is, but studies are showing just how detrimental of an effect it can have on people.
What Does FOMO Mean?
The Google dictionary definition of FOMO is “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.”
The fact that we can constantly see what others are doing at all times makes us feel like we aren’t doing enough or having as good of a time. There may be a correlation between social media and FOMO, so hold that thought.
What the Research Says About FOMO
As we briefly mentioned above, FOMO has been studied for nearly 20 years. The results and conclusions? Interesting. Social media and FOMO are so closely related that many find it impossible to escape, whether or not the individuals experience it or have associated stresses in some way, shape, or form.
Speaking of stress, researchers have made direct links to FOMO and what may cause it: anxiety. In hundreds of cases, the fear of missing out rapidly leads to feelings of anxiousness. This FOMO anxiety can lead to a whole laundry list of issues including trouble sleeping, loosing focus, or being easily distracted. FOMO may just be the one to point the finger at, as it’s affecting much of the majority of young people in the Western society.
Your Dog and FOMO
FOMO, as you could only guess, doesn’t just affect us humans. Whether you want to believe it or not, FOMO can affect your doggo. This isn’t something that you should just sweep under the rug either. Obviously your veterinarian isn’t going to diagnose your dog with “FOMO”. More so, you may find that your dog has severe separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety in dogs is a type of anxiety disorder. It happens when the paw parent leaves the house, regardless of the amount of time gone. If this goes untreated, it can lead to a long list of issues for both you and fido, not to mention, probably your furniture too. Thus, it’s so important to recognize when your dog is going through FOMO and suffering from stress and anxiety.
How Do I Tell if My Dog Has FOMO?
If you want to work on preventing FOMO, you need to first recognize the signs.
A) Defecating and Urinating
Do you frequently come home to “presents” everywhere? Does it happen always when you’re gone but never when you’re home?
B) Nonstop Vocalization
Constantly barking? Howling? Whining? Crying? Your dog is probably having FOMO. Obviously, your dog isn’t on Instagram, but they still know that you are somewhere they’re not.
Recognize whether or not their barking is persistent and is easily triggered by being left alone. If you live in tight quarters, such as an apartment, your neighbors may be complaining to you sooner than later.
C) Constantly Pacing
Your dog may begin to pace through the house as soon as they start to think you’re leaving soon. They may also whine and pant as if they’re preparing to be upset, for you to be gone without them.
D) Excessive Licking and Salivating
Red flags here friends! If your dog starts excessively salivating or licking, they may be preemptively experiencing you leaving, or FOMO.
E) Escape Plan Coming Soon
Is your dog trying to escape or run out constantly? If they’re trying to escape as you’re closing the door, this may be dangerous, in more ways than one.
What Causes Anxiety in Dogs?
Clearly, your dog isn’t jealous over your recent post on IG, so what exactly brings about FOMO in dogs? Think about it this way: if you’re stressing about something, your dog may be too. Dogs are highly highly sensitive beings, they recognize when their favorite human is stressed.
Did You Change Your Routine?
Dogs love having a routine, much like us humans. Knowing when they’re going to be fed, when it’s nap time, and when it’s time to eat create feelings of safety in your pup. Thus, if you change something in your life, it may affect your doggo, leading to separation anxiety symptoms.
Scared of Being Left Alone?
If you just adopted a doggo from the shelter, they may experience symptoms of separation anxiety. Even short outgoings without your new pal can cause severe FOMO.
Did You Move Recently?
Have you moved recently? If so, this may affect your dog’s sense of security. They may not be comfortable in their new home yet.
How to Help FOMO: The Remedies
Once you’ve confirmed that your dog has FOMO, you’ll want to make changes in order to help alleviate it at your best ability.
1. Dog Daycare
Yep, it’s a thing. Dog daycare may provide great physical and mental benefits for your dog. If you are away from home most of the time, you may want to think about enrolling your puppers into a daycare facility.
2. Stay Calm
Make leaving your home a small ordeal. Avoid acting super surprised when you arrive back home, your dog may think that you’ve been gone for a long time and or have even worse FOMO when you’re back.
3. Bones or Toys
Give your doggo something to do (or chew). Giving your dog a bone or chew toy may distract them for hours. If your dog isn't getting enough mental and physical stimulation from you, toys and bones may help do the trick.
4. CBD Dog Treats
Paw parents can implement CBD oil or CBD dog chews into their dog’s daily life. Our CBD Oil for Dogs comes with an easy-to-use dropper, allowing for full control over how much product you’d like to give your dog.
Our natural beef-flavored CBD Pet Chews are also a hit with the pups. Our proprietary veterinarian formulated soft chews are carefully crafted ensuring every ingredient is of the highest quality, and always free of preservatives and pesticides. These tantalizing CBD treats not only host a wealth of health benefits, but will have your pup begging for more.
Dogs and FOMO: Final Thoughts
We are totally living in a day and age where photos, vidoes, likes, and comments are constantly being displayed on our phones and notifications. The constant reminders of what everyone else is doing can be exhausting, even potentially harmful for our mental health.
While thankfully our dogs aren’t swiping on social media all day when we’re gone, they may still experience FOMO, anxiety, and stress.
As continuously evolving pet parents, we must acknowledge that anxiety is a real issue (in dogs and humans). Being aware of it can help you prevent and manage your dog’s FOMO later down the road.
I think we can all agree that our social media use can be a bit “over the top” and “excessive”. We constantly check our social media apps without even thinking most of the time. While it’s almost impossible to be off social media more than most of the time, taking your health into consideration by taking a more than necessary break may be more helpful than you’d expect. FOMO may sound super silly, but the fear of missing out can lead to an entire slew of issues, for you and your four-legged BFF.
So enjoy some down time with your doggo, they’ll thank you in more ways than one!