Kids aren’t the only ones who get the back-to-school-blues. Pets can also suffer the effects of a sudden change in routine, especially if they’ve been enjoying extra attention and playtime over the summer. Long days at home waiting for the family to return from school and work can lead to boredom and loneliness in pets. For some, this can actually lead to the much more serious issue of pet separation anxiety. Fortunately, the team at True Care Veterinary Hospital is here to help!
Spotting Pet Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety in pets essentially amounts to an exaggerated fear of being separated from their owners. A few signs that your pet may be experiencing separation anxiety include clinginess, barking/yowling, escape attempts, house soiling, and destructive behavior. Lethargy, “moping,” and loss of appetite or interest in toys/people are also signs that your pet isn’t feeling well.
The Importance of Pet Exercise
A decrease in exercise is to be expected once the back-to-school schedule starts, but this lack of physical activity can have an adverse effect on pet separation anxiety. As your family adjusts to the new routine, be sure to make time each day to exercise and play with your pet. Morning and evening walks, a quick game of fetch or laser pointer, and even practicing obedience commands are all ways to burn off excess physical and mental energy. This also reinforces the bond you share with your pet.
Bit by Bit
In a perfect world, our pets would join us in all our daily activities. In reality, however, it’s up to us to make their time away from the family as stress-free as possible. Consider the following ideas to help your pet cope:
- Help your dog or cat acclimate to any anticipated changes in their schedule ahead of time. Start their morning walk earlier, switch the noon playtime to an early evening frisbee toss, or leave them alone for slightly longer periods of time each day.
- Remain calm each time you leave or arrive home. Pets take cues from their owners, and over-responding to their enthusiasm will only create more chaos.
- Make sure your pet has fun things to do while you’re away. Food puzzles, a peanut butter-filled Kong, or a fun cat tree are all excellent ways to keep your pet busy.
- Some pets simply need interaction during the day. If this is the case, consider hiring a dog walker or enroll your pet in doggie daycare a few days a week to break up the monotony and provide company.
- A little extra attention can go a long way during the transitional period. Extra snuggles, grooming, and kind words will keep a pet feeling like a valued member of the family.
Pet separation anxiety is a serious issue. If you’re concerned about your pet, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at True Care Veterinary Hospital.
Dr. Tullio has always treated our dogs with great knowledge‚ care‚ and compassion‚ and we have grown to know him quite well. We have been so completely impressed with Dr. Tullio’s consistent excellence in care and services that we wanted to share our experience with others. We are pleased to recommend as the place to go for both quality treatment and compassionate care for your furry family members.
Doctor Tullio is a kind, caring gentleman who has cared for my cocker spaniels for many years now. He has always been helpful‚ honest‚ and understanding with my pets and me. He is a man I trust completely and have and do refer others to him. Any pet owner can feel safe and secure in trusting their beloved pets to his skilled hands.
—Margaret Rowe‚ Howell‚ NJ
When my parents’ dog Kya died very suddenly a few years ago‚ their regular vet was not at work that day. But thankfully‚ Dr. Tullio was and treated my parents and their dog as if he was their doctor for the past 15 years—doing everything he could to try and revive Kya and by being so compassionate to my parents in the waiting room after having to deliver the sad news. We truly can’t say enough nice things about Dr. Tullio and can’t wait for him to open his new facility! Thank you.
—Lori Forrest & Bob Leahy
Molly and Oscar have been patients of Dr. Tullio for several years. I have been very pleased with his care‚ his expertise‚ and his understanding with my two Wheatens. Dr. Tullio has been quick to diagnose any issues and remedy all of the problems we’ve had. I look forward to many more years working with Dr. Tullio. I wish him well in his venture.