The end of the summer isn’t quite here yet however, back to school thoughts are already on many people’s minds. This is the perfect time to prepare your pets for the change in their routines that back to school time can bring. Many behaviors can signal your pets sadness or anxiety because of a shift from a summer schedule to a school schedule. These behaviors may include:
- Excessive pacing, barking or meowing
- Urinating or defecating inside the house or in inappropriate areas
- Escape attempts
- Destruction of furniture or toys
- Unusual chewing, digging or other frantic behavior
Some strategies to help your pet start adjusting to their new schedule before school starts including:
- Introduce short periods of separation (at similar times to your school schedule) to help your pet become accustomed to the upcoming change.
- Crate train your dogs to give them a safe place to be when you’re not home supervising them. For more information on crate training adult dogs and information crate training puppies.
- Provide your pet with mind occupying toys, such as Kong’s, to help keep their mind occupied during their time alone.
- Make a point to exercise your pets before leaving in the morning. A tired pet will be less likely to display unwanted behaviors due to anxiety.
- Remain calm when leaving the house and upon returning home – pets can sense our moods and, when we are anxious or overly-excited, it can contribute to your pet’s stress.
- Do not punish your pets for acting out while they are adjusting to their new schedule. Their behavior may be rooted in anxiety or fear, punishment may only exacerbate their behavior.
If your pet continues to display unwanted behaviors that may be related to separation anxiety, please call today to make an appointment at 804-642-5740.