Thursday, September 9, 2010

Your Pet’s Back-to-School Blues

Back-to-school season is a time of transition for the whole family, as parents and children begin to adjust to a new routine. But as the ASPCA reports, it’s also a difficult time for pets, who have grown accustomed to some extra attention during summer vacations and excursions to parks and beaches.

“It’s not an uncommon problem — after all, cats and dogs are particularly vulnerable to any change in their schedules, and they thrive on stimulation,” the group notes. “With nothing to do, pets are forced to find ways to entertain themselves, which may include excessive barking or meowing, gnawing on shoes, raiding the garbage, eating houseplants and scratching furniture.”If your pet is suddenly having house-training “accidents,” barking or howling more often, pacing or digging or trying to break out of the yard, it may be a sign that the animal is having a hard time adjusting to the new family schedule.

The best strategy is to avoid an abrupt change in schedule, and in the weeks before school gradually introduce your pet to short periods of separation. But if it’s too late for that, the ASPCA recommends giving your dog or cat a treat every time you leave the house to help them develop positive feelings about being alone. For dogs, they suggest stuffing a rubber toy called the Kong with food to provide stimulation.

Scolding or punishing your dog or cat for bad behavior could make it worse, so be patient. If the problems continue, educate yourself about pet separation anxiety and talk to your veterinarian about your options.

Read the full article on the ASPCA Web site, “Conquering Your Pet’s Back-to-School Blues.” Is your pet showing signs of sadness when the kids leave for school? Tell us about it.


Post a Comment

Copyright © 2010 Pets Tabloid

Back to TOP