Back to School Stress Affects Pets Too
on August 7, 2015
Posted in Behavior Management
With school right around the corner, preparing your kids for the academic year can be a chaotic time. School supplies, Carpools, and lunches, can often mean changes in routines for pets as well. Adopting pets in the summer months allows for more opportunity for training, and bonding with new family members. As a result, the changes in routine that school creates can often be confusing for the furry family member.
Pets in the summer experience no shortage of people around. Whether it’s relatives visiting, or family vacation, your pet doesn’t have to look far for company. Going back to school can leave your pets feeling neglected, and possibly trigger depression. Pets, like humans, can also suffer from forms of depression and anxiety.
Symptoms of depression can be lethargy, changes in appetite, listlessness, and not wanting to engage. Separation anxiety on the other hand can have erratic symptoms that can included excessive vocalization in the form of barking and whining. There also may be destructive tendencies such as scratching doors, windows, fences, and eliminating in the house. If any of these symptoms sound familiar at school time, your pet may be upset with the recent changes in routine.
Here’s some routine tips and tricks that can help make going back to school easy for everyone.
- Creating new routines or restoring old ones before school starts can be a great way to do some family bonding, and bond with your pets. Generally pet care is most successful with a team approach. This doesn’t just include your Vet, Dog walkers, and Groomers, it starts at home. Create a schedules that get’s everyone in the family involved.
- Short stays alone for your pup approximately a week before school starts may be helpful in surviving the long stays alone.
- Pets can also be soothed by the tone of a person’s voice. Music can be helpful.
- Taking turns getting up early, even as little as 15 mins to take pooch for a walk, can be a helpful reminder that things aren’t changing that much. It can also be a great way to burn off some extra energy to reduce destructive behavior when left alone.
- The more uneventful that your departure is, the easier it can be on your pet. Pets have feelings too and can be lonely when you’re gone. Distracting your pet with toys can take some of the sting out of your departure, and delay the realization that that you’re gone.
- An afternoon outing can be a great way to to break up the day, and make the wait until everyone comes home a little shorter. If you’re unable to stop by at lunch, or in the afternoon. Maybe a neighbour, or friend could pop by.
- Coming home should be as uneventful as your departure. Acting like you’ve been gone forever, can contribute to separation anxiety. Calmly greeting your pet and them taking them out can often minimize excitement.
Pets can also get stressed, and can benefit from being prepared for the change. Routine can often times be comforting. However, there can be extreme cases of both depression, and separation anxiety
In these cases, Pet Wellbeing can help. Stress Gold is a quick-acting, non-addictive, herbal formula designed for cats and dogs. This herbal combination naturally supports the central nervous system in times of nervous tension or heightened states of emotion. The active ingredients work to produce a natural and safe sedative effect. The result is reduced nerve tension, subdued restlessness and a decreased tendency to hyperactivity or excitability. It’s a great way to support your pet for situations of high stress.
Calming Care is a natural herbal supplement designed to gently assist for cats and dogs with consistently calm and balanced moods. The herbal ingredients in this formula are meant to be administered daily, with a long term outlook. They are non sedating and will not cause your dog to feel sleepy or drowsy. Calming Care helps your cats or dogs feel at ease in different situations or with life in general.
Whether it’s the first day of preschool, or University, preparing your kids can be tough. Just remember it can be tough on pets as well. Spending a little extra quality time before school starts can give your pets a head start they deserve.
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan