Back to School Time Is Here: Are Your Pets Ready?
With the start of the new school season upon us, the attentions of parents around the country are fixated on making sure their children have everything they need to start the school year off right. But, for those parents who also happen to have four-footed “children,” they also need to consider what their pets will be going through once their kids are no longer home during the day.
Back to school separation anxiety is a real condition that could affect your dog this September. After all, your child spent the majority of his or her summer side-by-side with the family dog, and when this constant presence is no longer there for the bulk of the day, your dog could start acting out.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the reality of school-time separation anxiety, and ways to help your pet through it.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Over the summer, your dog develops a very strong bond with your child. After all, she gets all of the love, attention, and playtime she could want. But, when your child goes back to school, your dog will feel the void in her life, which often results in depression and separation anxiety. If your dog develops separation anxiety, the most common signs you will notice will include:
- Obsessive barking or whining for long periods of time
- Urinating or defecating in the house
- Chewing the furniture
- Excessive clawing at the door
- Ripping the stuffing out of the pillows
- Chewing or shredding paper
- Rummaging through the garbage can
When a dog is suffering from separation anxiety, her behavior will turn destructive so it is important to know how to deal with it before your dog turns your home inside out.
How to Help a Dog With Separation Anxiety
If your dog is starting to show one or more of the above signs, you should not punish her for her bad behavior. Doing so will have a negative effect, and it could even make your dog become more aggressive to you and others. So, treatment should be centered on managing her anxiety. Some ways to do this include:
- Start leaving your dog home alone for brief periods of time before school starts so she’s more comfortable with being alone
- Teach your kids to avoid getting the dog overexcited before they leave and return home
- Make sure your dog has plenty of interactive toys available to her during the day
- Exercise your dog before everyone leaves the home in the morning
- Prepare everything the night before so everything remains calm when the kids leave for school in the morning
- Take your dog out for exercise after dinner so she can get rid of any pent-up energy
- Take your dog to the veterinarian to make sure she doesn’t have an underlying medical condition that could be causing her anxiety
In severe cases of separation anxiety or when an extended absence from the home is imminent, you might want to consider enrolling your dog into a doggy day care near you. This way, she can interact and play with other people and dogs instead of being left alone all day to become lonely and anxious.
If your veterinarian determines that your pet suffers from severe separation anxiety, she may prescribe anti-anxiety medications to help keep your dog’s mood more stable. If this is the case, you can receive a free quote for your pet’s medications from Diamondback Drugs. We can help you save money on all of your pet medications.
Author: Giano Panzarella