As the kids return to school, you may notice your pets experiencing a change in mood and behavior. While it’s normal for pets to feel lonesome and bored as they transition to their new schedule, it’s important to provide your pet with what they need to ease their sadness and boredom. Being proactive can prevent separation anxiety and help your pet feel better as their favorite little humans get back to school.
How Can You Help Alleviate Your Pet’s Back to School Blues?
1. Spend as Much Quality Time with Your Pet as Possible
We know you’re juggling a lot– helping with homework, keeping up with extracurriculars, and everything else that goes along with being a parent. However, try to devote time daily to giving your pet much-needed one-on-one attention.
- Going for a short walk with your dog before school with the kids
- Playing for half an hour after school and work
- Petting and snuggling your pet in the evening while watching tv
- Let the kids take breaks from time to time from their homework to give your pet attention
2. Hire a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter for Drop-In Fun
If your pet is alone for more than a handful of hours each day, consider hiring a professional to pop in and provide your pet with some love, attention, and exercise.
A 20-minute walk for your dog will surely make their day and give them a chance to use the bathroom. Exercise is one of the natural solutions to anxiety and stress.
And as for your feline friend, they may act aloof or shy at first, but having a human in the home will help them feel more secure. And once your cat gets to know their sitter, they can partake in some fun and games which will elevate their heart rate, for better overall health and anxiety relief.
3. Use Highly Enriching Toys for Additional Mental Stimulation
Toys and treats are powerful tools when it comes to keeping your pet happy and healthy. Mental enrichment helps stave off depression and anxiety, and interactive toys offer an easy solution for keeping your pet mentally stimulated.
Consider using battery-powered toys or hanging toys that will move on their own to keep your kitty having fun even when you’re not around.
For dogs, puzzle toys and chew toys with treat insert areas are worth their weight in bones! Just be sure any toys you leave with your dog won’t become a choking hazard or create an intestinal blockage by breaking apart.
4. Known the Signs of Separation Anxiety & Seek Help if Needed
No pet is exempt from separation anxiety. Even with the most proactive pet parents, many pets will still develop separation anxiety. As the kids return to the classroom, remain observant and not if your pet develops any of the following signs of separation anxiety:
- Barking or mewing as your leave or after
- Bathroom accidents
- Obsessive licking or scratching, especially of the paws
- Becoming destructive and tearing up inappropriate items
- Pacing as you get ready to leave
- Hiding after you leave
- Trying to escape
Turn the Back to School Blues into a Celebration
Taking a proactive approach with your pet as the kids return to school offers the best chances of your pet feeling safe, secure, and happy. While all pets are different, providing your pet with enriching toys while you’re away and giving them plenty of attention while you are home can protect your pet’s mental wellbeing. Just remember to watch for signs that your pet is developing separation anxiety, and if you notice the symptoms of separation anxiety, contact us ASAP. We can help you better understand your pet’s condition and provide recommendations that can help your pet heal and overcome their anxiety.
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