As much as parents and kids are eager and nervous to start school, our pets will most likely also experience separation anxiety after a long summer of activity and togetherness. According to the American Kennel Club, signs that your dog is experiencing separation anxiety include anxious behaviors like pacing, whining, or trembling; excessive barking or howling; destructive acts, such as chewing or digging; and excessive salivation.
Abrupt changes in routine, even for a pet, can trigger severe behavioral issues, but the Pets a Go Go team is here to give you some tips that can help prepare your furry friend for the change in routine once school starts.
Tips to Alleviate Your Pet’s Stress
- Adjust their schedule, gradually. Just as you would prepare your child for the school year schedule, you should also consider adjusting whatever may have been consistent in your pet’s schedule. Heading back to school for humans often means earlier wakeups, so this may result in having to shift your furry friend’s feeding, exercise, and morning potty time. This change shouldn’t happen all at once, but slowly and deliberately. It can be positive for you, too! Get an early morning walk-in together before school and/or work!
- Re-introduce alone time. Although it breaks our hearts as pet owners to leave our friends for the day, whether for school or work, it is beneficial to re-introduce alone time to them if they’ve had constant human companionship throughout the summer. Gradually implement alone times in the day – you can provide your pet with interactive toys to keep them mentally stimulated.
- Allow time to Adjust to Departure Cues: Dogs can pick up on cues that indicate you’re about to leave (putting on shoes, picking up keys, putting on a coat, etc.). Start doing these cues without actually leaving your home, so your dog doesn’t associate these actions solely with your absence. Soon, your pup won’t pay so much attention to these signals that you are about to leave.
- Enroll in Doggie Daycare. If you don’t want to leave your pet at home all day, the best option is finding a doggie daycare like Pets a Go Go that can provide food, exercise, and activity for your friend. At a daycare, your pet will be provided with a structured and supervised environment where they can socialize, engage, and receive mental and physical stimulation.
With these thoughts in mind, we at Pets a Go Go know that every situation and every animal has its own unique needs. Every animal needs patience from you as their owner in this time period of adjustment. Your furry friend WILL soon adapt to the new routine and continue to be the loving pet you’ve always known them to be.
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