Like us, our pets are creatures of habit. They enjoy a steady routine of attention, food, play, and relaxation. During the summer, dogs and cats have their young friends to keep them company, play with them, and even sneak them treats. When the school year rolls around, the change can be dramatic to our furry friends, triggering pet separation anxiety. To help curb the impact of this change, our animal hospital has come up with tips to beat the back to school pet blues!
Tips for Preventing and Reducing Pet Separation Anxiety
- Make your good-byes as calm and nonchalant as possible. Lots of attention and sympathy before you take off for the day can encourage pet separation anxiety. Try to make your departure as low-key as possible so your pet remains calm and collected.
- Leave the TV or radio on. In a quiet empty house, it can be calming to have the sounds of human voices to listen to while you’re away.
- Include playtime and/or walks into your pet’s schedule before and after the school day. Having your kids play with your pet once their home from school means your pet has something to look forward to every day.
- Leave your pet with special toys or treats that they only get when you leave them alone. This will help not only distract them from your departure, but also build a positive experience around you leaving.
Talk to Your Veterinarian About More Severe Anxiety
If your pet continues to exhibit destructive behavior, bathroom accidents indoors, mood changes and excessive barking and whining while you’re not home, it could be time to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s behavior, and we’ll help you choose the right medication as well as implement a behavior modification program at home to reduce anxiety over time. Contact our animal hospital at (978) 851-5558 to set up an appointment!