Back-to-School: Pets and Separation Anxiety

By September 1, 2016 Pet Care No Comments

Summer has been fun, and now it’s time to go back to school. Students and teachers alike, of all ages, have begun classes. This also means that many pets have been left at home while their owners are away, and some may take this change rather hard because they’ve become accustomed to having a family member around.

Separation anxiety can come in many forms. And, even if you pet has never shown signs before, any significant change may stir some anxiety.

labrador-380800_1920Your dog, for instance, might:

  • Bark and howl.
  • Pace and run.
  • Tear and chew at furniture, and other things.
  • Dig into trash and other places.
  • Urinate and defecate in the house.

Cats may do the same or similar when they’re upset by an owner’s absence, in addition to:

  • Scratching at furniture and other things.
  • Urinating to mark territory.
  • Climbing and knocking items off of shelves, and counters.

The best thing to do is prepare your pet well before the semester begins. Let your pet grow accustomed to your absence by leaving for brief periods of time. Over time, work toward the schedule you will have once classes start.

If your pet is already showing signs of separation anxiety, try some natural remedies. Go for long walks to exhaust your dog and play with your cat for a while every day. Make some extra time in general to spend with your pets to make them feel safe and loved. Leave plenty of distractions for them in the form of safe toys and treats.

If these don’t work, look into day care or professional training. It takes patience, but if significant time passes with no results, it may be time to seek the help of your vet to make certain there are no medical issues causing the separation anxiety, and to find out if there are any other options.

If you’re concerned about your pet’s reactions to your going back to school, call us at Pet Vet Hospitals and let us help.