Help Your Pup with Back to School Blues

By on September 11, 2014

Kids all around the area have gone back to school. This is usually a happy time for most, but others are left with a bit of sadness.

Summer is a dog’s favorite time. His best buds are home on school’s summer break and there every day to take him on walks, play fetch, sneak treats and give a constant flow of unconditional love and affection. Pooches are in heaven for two-and-a-half straight months. Then August rolls around. School shopping begins, your pooch starts to notice a shift in energy and all of a sudden…Bam. His best friend is gone all day. Everything he has gotten used to has been disrupted. This can lead to high anxiety, depression, loneliness and lashing out.

This article from CBS News about yours pup’s back to school blues, which can be found here, says “Nearly 20 percent of the nation’s 80 million dogs have separation anxiety.” The article cites Dr. Nick Dodman of Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts as its source.

Some 70 percent of dogs with separation anxiety will bark, howl or whine. Sixty percent will destroy something, leaving behind scratched doors, damaged blinds or torn curtains and a third are so upset they have accidents, Dodman said.

So, what do you do? Luckily, we have found and come up with some possible solutions to help ease the back to school blues for your friend.

1.Make the departure a happy one. When your child leaves for school, give your dog love and affection with toys and treats. Leave on a happy note. Do this every day and create a routine. Just like children need routine, so do animals.

2. Create a Doggy Space. Create a special place for your pup- let the kids get involved with this one. Be creative, have fun and make sure it’s a space Spot will love.

3. Bus Stop Time. Allow your child to walk his friend to the bus stop with him every morning. This gives extended time with each other and they can see one another off. If you are able to, walk your dog back to the bus stop upon arrival after school. It’ll make for a really happy time for both your child and the dog.

4. Get a sitter. This doesn’t have to be an expensive thing- think about asking a neighbor who stays home or a college student to stop by the house and give the dog a little attention and love once a day. This will ease the loneliness your pup is experiencing.  People are more willing to do this than you would think. I would absolutely stop by my neighbor’s house to play with a dog for a few minutes every day! Wouldn’t you?

5. Doggy Day Camp. If your dog has severe separation anxiety, or just absolutely loves other dogs and people, take him to a doggy day camp. This will allow your dog to be social with other pups and humans, and will ensure that your house doesn’t experience a separation anxiety lash out.

Follow these tips and attempt to curb the anxiety that goes with a change in routine. You, your kids and your pup will be happy and stay in contact as much as possible, eliminating some bad behavior.

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