Creature Feature

Creature Feature – Back to School Blues

Posted by  //  September 13, 2022  //  Articles, Creature Feature

Here’s hoping your family had a terrific summer vacation, especially the kids.  Alas, all good things must come to an end; and now that school has restarted, there may be some gloomy faces around the breakfast table.  The abrupt changes in routine brought on by a new school year doesn’t just affect our kids – pets can suffer from the back to school blues, too.  

After spending a happy summer romping with the kids, our pets can experience separation anxiety and depression when their best buddies suddenly “disappear” during the school day and after-school activities.  Signs of separation anxiety in dogs can include excessive whining, barking or howling, destructive behaviors, a setback in potty training and/or changes in their overall mood.  Cats may withdraw or hide, have a decreased appetite and experience mood changes.  While most pets eventually adjust to the new schedule, some will continue to feel abandoned, anxious or sad.     

To help pets beat the back-to-school blues, try making departure time a pleasant experience.  Kids can walk the dog or spend a little one-on-one time with the cat before heading off.  Providing safe treats and toys can help keep dogs distracted when alone, and most cats appreciate a cozy place by a sunny window to pass the time watching birds and other wildlife.  Consider adopting a dog or cat companion for your pet to combat loneliness.  Don’t indulge anxiety-driven behaviors by dragging out departures.  Just like kids, pets feel more secure when we provide an upbeat, predictable routine.

Wishing both your human AND furry kids a happy, stress-free transition back to school!

Article & photo by Margie Manthey

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