5 Quick Tips to Save Your Dog From Back to School Stress
School is starting up again which means all your dog’s friends are going to be out of the house. Your four-legged family member will be spending more time indoors and alone–something that often causes separation anxiety and leads to misbehavior.
How do you know if your dog is stressed?
Chances are, if your pet is experiencing increased stress from your absence, you’ll notice. Red flags include destructive behavior like digging, chewing and scratching, especially around doors, windows and gates. If you’re getting calls from neighbors reporting that your poor pup has been barking all day while you’re out, or you start coming home to messes of various types, it’s time for some damage control.
What are the dangers of my dog being overly stressed?
Separation anxiety can make your dog miserable and increase their risk of getting lost or ingesting harmful objects. It can also make your dog depressed and cause him to search for negative attention whenever possible.
How can I keep my dog from being stressed?
Try these five tips to help ease your dog’s anxiety this season.
1. Short periods of separation
Try and start out by leaving your dog at home for shorter periods. On the weekend you can take the whole family out and leave the pup at home for a few hours. Shorter periods mixed with longer periods of solitude will remind your pet that you ARE coming home. It will also ease him into the full length of a school day separation.
2. Get exercise before you leave the house
A tired pet is a much happier pet. Take your pup for a long walk in the morning or for an exhilarating run. This will make it more likely that your dog can doze off while the whole family is out for the day.
3. Give your dog a toy
This might seem obvious, but when you’re busy getting the whole family out the door, you might forget to make sure your pup has something to keep him entertained. Try a Kong filled with peanut butter to keep him occupied for longer. If you give it to him right before you leave, he’ll start associating your departure with treats.
4. Leave something playing
Leave the TV on or the radio playing when you leave the house. You can even purchase DVDs made specially for dogs.
5. Low key exit and entry
Don’t fuss over your dog too much when you leave the house or be overly excited to see him when you get home. This might be hard because you missed him, but it will help your pup realize that you leaving is not a big deal.
As your pet becomes more accustomed to the new family routine, their anxiety will lessen. If by mid-October your pet is still barking all day or chewing the bottoms of doors, consult a pet behaviorist. In the meantime, keep checking back to read the latest tips and tricks on how to keep your pet at their happy, healthy, best.
Sep 22, 2016