Summer fun is winding down, and it’s time for many kids to head back to school. Unfortunately, this means your furry friends may be spending more time alone. At Homey Gnome Veterinary Clinic, we understand that this change can be challenging for your pet, and we are here to provide some help.
Here is what you should know about separation anxiety and how to prepare your pet for the back-to-school blues.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Does your pet get nervous when you leave the house? Separation anxiety is a common behavioral problem in pets who don’t like to be left alone. The most common cause of separation anxiety is sudden changes to your pet’s schedule, such as kids heading back to school. However, separation anxiety can also result from a traumatic experience when your pet was previously left alone.
In mild cases of separation anxiety, pets may show signs of stress, including increased vocalization and pacing. However, separation anxiety can also become severe and lead to extreme distress or panic. Pets with this level of anxiety may exhibit destructive behavior and even attempt escape. Unfortunately, this can lead to physical injury and severe emotional distress.
How to Prepare Your Pet
If you’re concerned about the back-to-school blues, there are some easy ways you can help prepare your pet. Here are a few tips for reducing the risk of separation anxiety and preparing your pet for a change in routine.
- Practice Alone Time
One of the first steps in preparing your pet for back to school is to make sure they are comfortable spending time on their own. Start by practicing short periods of alone time during the day. This can mean setting up a quiet room for your pet to spend some time on their own or leaving the house for short periods of time.
- Increase Exercise and Play Time
Another great way to prepare your pet for spending more time on their own is to ensure they get plenty of exercise. A tired pet is more likely to rest and relax while you’re away. Before you leave the house, consider setting aside some extra play time or taking your dog for a long walk to burn off any excess energy.
- Provide Mental Stimulation
Boredom can be a major problem for pets who are used to having a full house. To keep your pet busy, provide plenty of mental stimulation to keep your pet busy while you’re away. Food puzzles or other enrichment activities are great for keeping your pet occupied and helping them pass the time.
Let Us Help!
For some pets, separation anxiety can become a serious problem. If your efforts to reduce your pet’s stress are not working, it may be time to seek additional help. At Homey Gnome Veterinary Clinic, our team is here to help put your pet at ease. Our team is happy to discuss your pet’s behavior and make recommendations based on their unique needs. Some pets may benefit from calming aids to help during the transition process. Please give us a call to learn more about how we can help and get your pet back on track.
As your kids head back to school, it’s essential to take some time to consider how the end of summer may be affecting your pet. The back-to-school blues can be a serious problem, and it’s important to take precautions to prevent your pet from developing separation anxiety.
If your efforts to reduce your pet’s anxiety are unsuccessful or you have additional concerns, please give us a call at 651-202-3388. We hope these tips will help ease back-to-school stress and provide a smooth transition this fall.
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