Beating Back to School Blues for Pets

It’s that time of year again… The bags are packed, uniforms are ironed, lunches have been made and everyone is getting back into their routine after the Summer break.

Most of the family are usually excited about the new challenges that lie ahead, however, there’s one member that may not be ready…  Your fur baby.

Separation can be particularly difficult for dogs in the first few weeks of school, after a whole summer of playing with the children.  The change in routine and lack of attention, can make your dog overly anxious or even depressed, with the usual signs being – digging and scratching in an attempt to escape, excessive howling and whining, destructive chewing, toilet training lapses and overall change in mood.  

The good news is however, with some patience, understanding and effort, you can help your four-legged family members adjust quickly!

7 Tips to Help your Pet Beat the Back to School Blues –

1.Practice the School Routine 

In the days and weeks leading up to the first day of school, slowly start adjusting their schedule so it’s not such a dramatic change.  Add in a few early morning walks, alter feeding times and leave them alone for longer periods to get them used to the new routine.

2. Update your Exercise Routine 

Since time with your pet may be limited to early mornings or evenings, set up a new routine to take them for walks when you are home.  Early morning exercise is a great way to burn off some of their energy, so they can rest when you leave.

3. Play Time

Encourage your children to give your pet plenty of attention in the mornings or after school.  Not only for your pet, but the children will find it a great release after concentrating all day and before they need to get started on their homework!

4. Keep the Departures Simple

When it’s time for you to leave in the morning, don’t make it a big deal. We can be tempted to shower our dogs in kisses and hugs as we’re heading out the door, but she’ll do better if you say a quick goodbye and then leave.

5. Special Treat for School times

Consider a special treat or chew toy that is only provided when the kids are at school. With any luck, your dog may start to look forward to the kid-free time.

6. Leave the Radio on

If your pet is used to a busy, noisy household, leave the radio on! 

7. Leave an old Piece of Clothing 

Letting your pooch cuddle a worn piece of child’s clothing can provide comfort and help them avoid destructive behaviour.

If all else fails, hire a dog walker to exercise your pet during the day, or book them into a doggy daycare!  Or if you are really concerned about your pet’s behaviour, please see your Vet. 

petmentalhealth

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