How to Handle Your Pet’s Anxiety at Back to School Time
Back-to-school time tends to bring out anxiety in everyone, including our loving pets. Whether it be a dog or a cat, they are both inclined to feel a sort of anxiety when their daily routine is changed. When children in the home go back to school it can shake up the pet’s feelings. This is true if the pet’s owner is a teacher that has to go back as well.
Dogs and cats thrive on a routine in their so-called “pack.” Their human family is considered their pack and when that is separated in an unusual way, they can feel separation anxiety. Remember, animals don’t have a sense of time and what may only be a few hours can feel like an eternity to them.
The Reason Pets May Feel Separation Anxiety
Pets are known to become attached to their owner and other family members that may live in the household. Separation anxiety stems from them feeling upset about being separated from the people they are attached to.
When a dog or cat is abandoned or left at a shelter, they will be more likely to show signs of separation anxiety once they are adopted. Any situation that may be an abrupt change in their life can trigger this.
Easing The Transition
Preparing your pet for the upcoming schedule change is the best way to approach the back-to-school time. This will be a sort of way to ease them into this new transition to make it easier on them and you.
The best way to do this is to begin leaving them for short periods of time and slowly increasing the amount of time that they are alone. Be sure not to make a big deal about your departure to keep them from getting upset before you even walk out of the door.
Praise your pet and give them lots of love and attention once you return to let them know that it is ok and that you will be back in the times that you do leave.
Helping Pets Overcome
Once the time has come to go back to school your pet may still need help adjusting and overcoming to the new norm. We have listed five ways that you can take advantage of to help them in the process.
1. Daily Exercise
Providing your pet with plenty of attention and exercise when you are around will be a tremendous help. When they have lots of exercise and playtime it will help them feel calmer and more relaxed in the hours that you may be gone.
The best time to do these things is first thing in the morning before everyone leaves the house for the day. If you are lucky, they may be tired enough from the exercise to nap the rest of the day and will have you back home before they even know it.
2. Pet Daycare
You may be worrisome about sending your dog or cat to a daycare, but they can be very helpful and a fun way for them to spend the day! Dogs especially can have so much fun being around other people and if they like being with other dogs, they could make new fur friends!
Taking them to a pet daycare can help ensure that they don’t feel all alone throughout the day while you and the family are gone.
3. Pet Sitter
If you don’t want to load up your pet to take them to an actual daycare, hiring a pet sitter can also be a good option! You can ask a trustworthy friend, family, or a professional with good references to come to stay with your pet while you and the kids are away.
This way, you don’t have to take them anywhere, but they will have good company during your away hours.
4. Background Noise
Sometimes just having some sort of background noise can alleviate the feeling of separation anxiety. They get accustomed to the constant noise and commotion of your everyday living and putting on the tv can help the house to feel a little less quiet.
Though nobody will actually be at the house, just the sound can give the effect of when there are people at home.
5. Plenty of Toys
One of the biggest ways that you can help your pet to feel less anxious is to leave them with plenty of distractions. Leaving them with their favorite toys and maybe even some new toys can give them something to occupy their mind in the meantime.
Dogs will love squeaky toys and maybe even a ball throwing machine, while cats will love in-home climbing equipment and catnip toys.
Another great factor about leaving them with toys is that it can keep them from becoming curious around the house and possibly destroying your own things.
Anxiety Relief Through Comfort Spray
These many tips and tricks can come in handy while trying to help your pet transition to the new routine but there is one item that has shown to work every time…. Anxiety relief comfort spray. We know that animals pick up on scents and we can guarantee that they have yours memorized so much that they could pick you out in a crowd. The K9 and Kitty comfort sprays are formulated specifically to keep your pet calm while you are gone. It comes in a kit that will allow you to collect your scent and then in turn it will be transformed into a miracle-working calming method.
Whether you purchase the spray or the essential oil, it will trigger the same part of their brain as when you are around and therefore help them feel comforted.
Choosing this method above all has proven to be the easiest and quickest way to solve the separation anxiety issue. It is an ongoing treatment that is natural and unique to each individual.
In the end, no matter how you approach the back-to-school schedule change, your pet is sure to appreciate the time that is spent with them!