That Time of Year: Back-to-School Pet Anxiety
Everyone’s itching to get back into the swing of things by the time August rolls around. Whether it’s been a chaotic or laid back summer, the start of a new school year brings big changes, and pets are always the first to notice. Closely attuned to household dynamics, pets can feel downright confused, abandoned, and stressed out once the kids return to school. However, with a healthy dose of preparation, pet anxiety won’t take center stage this fall.
Not only is everyone gone for the entire day, but with daylight savings time on the horizon, sunlight is at a minimum, as well. A severe case of back-to-school blues could be the result for your sweet, sensitive pet.
Recognize and Strategize
Before you’re forced to start a new schedule, try easing into your new routine a few weeks beforehand. Try leaving the house at the same time you’d be leaving for school/work. Begin by staying away for 30 minutes at a time; slowly increase your time away incrementally.
Keep it Real
Be sure to keep your pet’s meals and bathroom times consistent throughout the day. This might mean enlisting the help of a friend, family member, neighbor, dog walker, or pet sitter.
Try not to make a huge deal when leaving or returning home. However, be sure to spend time with your pet in the evenings, and exercise them thoroughly. Providing an outlet to burn off excess energy goes a long way toward easing pet anxiety.
Signs of Pet Anxiety
Your pet may pace anxiously before you leave and throughout your time apart. They may also bark endlessly, whine excessively, soil inside the house, howl, chew, or destroy household goods. It’s incredibly important not to ignore these symptoms. Doing so can accidentally reinforce them, making it difficult to address pet anxiety later on.
We can help! Please give us a call so we can get your pet’s behavior back on track. Know that it takes time, training, and patience to ensure your pet gets the help they need.
A Word About Other Dangers
Along with new schedules, changing routines, and pet anxiety, lots of things are brought home that have the potential to harm your pet. Please be careful with lunch boxes, backpacks, coats, and other belongings that can store tempting yet toxic items.