Does Your Pet Have The Back To School Blues?
This year and a half have been challenging, and as the summer comes to an end and we adopt a new way of living, we think we all hoped things would be going back to normal by now.
As we move into fall, children are back at school, and although we were hoping to get our lives back to pre-COVID-19 normal, we are still living in uncertainty.
Although we may shift our mindset and evolve a new way of life, our pets may not have the same luxury. They are creatures of habit, they love their routine, and all they have known for the last year or more is that the family has constantly been around.
So what happens when our old reality finally starts to see the light? What happens to those pets born into the pandemic and don’t know another way of life? What happens to our pet’s routine that they’ve become so accustomed to?
The 4-1-1 on Back-to-School Blues
We get it. Getting ready to head back into the school season is overwhelming, frantic, and at times an overall headache for parents and kids alike. But have you ever thought of what’s going through the minds of your pets when you go from a whole house to an empty house overnight?
Put yourself in their position. For the last three months, they had the warm summer sun, endless cuddles, and mid-morning walks from the kids without the buzzkill of classes and assignments dampening their moods. Perhaps vacations including daily swimming at the lake followed by late nights by the campfire.
Now, the significant shift. First, the change to a school-based schedule, The transition to a new normal that will likely create a change in routine, emotions, and attitude for all family members, furry companions included.
One of the most significant risks that a pet owner will encounter as an outcome of Back-to-School Pet Blues is increased separation, anxiety, and depression within their furry friend. With the pairing of colder months leading deeper into the school season, the full effects can impact our pets more than most pet parents even realize.
Your Fur Child’s Behaviors
Separation, anxiety, and depression in pets is an issue that can be recognized by being aware of specific changes in behavior. So what signs should you be aware of to distinguish this from your companion just having a bad day?
- Digging and scratching at fences/doors/walls/destructive chewing. Often used as a form of attempted escape for the pet or as an anxiety response.
- Excessive howling, whining. As our furry friends aren’t fluent in whatever language we choose to speak, they are unable to communicate their emotions, feelings, or problems to us in a direct manner. Therefore, use any excessive noise to indicate that something may not be quite right with your pet pal.
- Excessive bowel movements. Although this could be an indicator of a dietary issue, your pet’s bowel movements could be indicating an anxiety-induced response to Back-to-School Blues.
- It’s also essential to observe these behaviors over an extended period, as your pet, like any member of your house, may just be having a bad day.
Back to Reality
If you’re a new pet owner, this may be your first time experiencing this kind of behavioral change in our pets. Seeking help to dissipate the pressure can be your best cause of action.
Education is critical here, and setting a routine with direct involvement and clear indicators for your pet, such as mealtime, toilet time, and walk time, is a fantastic way to reassure them that they aren’t forgotten. Little things such as routine grooming once a week or evening cuddles also allow your pet to bond with you without the need for high-energy exercises.
Routine, Routine, Routine
Like you, our companion animals find relief in routine, and keeping them on a schedule will often help them adapt well to other changes within the home.
It’s important to remember that younger pets need contact with their forever families in their formative stage. When creating a back-to-school routine, incorporating your furry friend into pet-friendly family activities increases that one on one time that the school schedule has deprived.
After-school activities are a fantastic place to start. If your child’s activities are in a dog-friendly space, make a conscious effort to bring your pups along. This allows for them to socialize, explore beyond the borders of the backyard, and get the interaction with you and new strangers that they may meet. In addition, this can prevent any outlasting behavior, barking, or anxieties that a dog or owner without the needed skills may experience.
In the end, it’s about making sure the proper education, practices, and routine are implemented in your household and within yourself and your puppy’s upbringing to help elevate any unnecessary stressors or issues.
If you feel like you and your furry friend are ready to take the next step in creating a more substantial, interconnected relationship, feel free to visit our website for all our services on offer.
It’s important to remember during the craziness of back-to-school season that your fur baby is still an essential part of your family. Pet visits, dog walking, and daily schedules help reinstate routine and develop their skills while showing love and care.
If you feel like you’re taking the next step in the right direction, feel free to contact us because- “we care when you can’t be there”! ®️
Nicole founded Miami Pet Concierge in May 2007, with a mission to provide Miami, Florida’s pet parents with personalized pet care plans based on their pets’ species, age, breed, health, and lifestyle. All while keeping their pets “happy at home.” In addition, offering pet care education for all pet owners to guide them to become great pet parents.