Although it always feels like it’s going to last forever, summer is once again coming to an end. Part of summer wrapping up and beginning the transition into fall is kids going back to school. If you have kids, they’re probably a little bummed that summer is coming to an end but overall happy about having the opportunity to go back to school with their friends. However, one member of your household that probably isn’t going to be nearly as happy about this change is your dog.
During the summer, your dog gets used to having people around the house more during the day. So when back to school season arrives, the sudden loss of that activity and focus on getting back into the school routine can be quite tough on a dog. That’s why we want to cover exactly what your dog may experience during this transition, along with what you can do to help your dog feel its best:
Keep An Eye Out for Separation Anxiety and Depression
Understanding the differences between separation anxiety and depression is helpful for knowing if your dog is experiencing either of these problems. With separation anxiety, the most common symptom is erratic behavior. Whether it’s frantic clawing, excessive barking or destructive chewing, these are all signs that your dog is struggling with this seasonal change. Depression takes a different form and is most commonly exhibited by loss of appetite, lack of energy or not wanting to play.
Creating a Positive Back to School Schedule
There’s no way to prevent separation anxiety or depression with complete certainty. That being said, there are definitely ways to minimize the likelihood of these issues coming up with your dog. The best thing to do is ease into a consistent routine. A good routine starts with exercise in the morning. Even just fifteen minutes of walking and playing outside can start your dog’s day on a positive note.
Next, when the time comes for you and the kids to leave, don’t make a big deal out of it. Providing a treat or toy and then heading out will help prevent your dog from feeling any negative emotions. For a dog that’s prone to anxiety, leaving a TV or radio on while you’re away can be helpful.
Ideally, someone will be able to come home during the day to see the dog. When you come home then or in the evening, once again avoid making a big deal out of it. Keeping a calmer attitude will make your dog feel the same. Do be sure to get another round of exercise in the PM.
While those steps are helpful, you can make things even better for your dog by taking advantage of our doggie daycare. Our great staff and social environment can help your dog stay engaged and happy throughout the day for as little as $15 a day!