In households with school-aged kids, summers are typically full of fun for everyone in the family – including the dog. But what happens when the kids head back to school in the late summer and the house is suddenly quiet and lonely?
With this sudden change in daily routine, your dog may experience depression or separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because of separation from the people they’re attached to.
Signs your dog might be suffering from separation anxiety include destructive or anxious behaviors like:
- Attempting to escape from the house or yard
The good news is there are things you can do to help relieve your pup’s distress. The Oregon Humane Society offers these tips to help your dog overcome the “back-to-school blues.”
- Schedule an appointment with your vet. Your dog’s anxiety might have an underlying medical cause or your vet might have some additional ideas to help relieve your dog’s stress.
- Consider preparing Kongs stuffed with peanut butter or some other favorite treat. Working to get the treat out will provide your dog a distraction from his stress and hours of enjoyment and mental stimulation while you’re gone.
- Check out some doggie day cares in your area. A day or two of supervised play and exercise may be beneficial to your lonely dog.
- Take your pooch for long morning walks to get him plenty of exercise and tire him out.
- Spend quality time with your dog when you are at home; include him in family activities to assure him he’s still an important part of the family.