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Back to School

Ready for the kids to go back to school? Your children’s impending return to school may give you a well-deserved break, but the change of routine can make your pets anxious and a little lonely.

They’ve gotten used to having the kids home all summer, showering them with attention. But when the predicted time to interact changes – especially if it’s reduced ; pets can become very stressed.

Why It Happens
It’s a form of separation anxiety.

How to Tell.
If your pet has become very clingy when he had not been before, he’s showing an excessive attachment. If you come home to find items disturbed or moved, things torn up, or signs of destruction, your dog is venting. Over-active greetings or a dejected look in the morning, that haven’t occurred before, are also signs.
What to Do Before School’s in Session
Mealtimes, exercise times, potty trips outside for pets – the timing and amount of attention can all be gradually shifted from the summer to the fall routine, over the course of a few weeks. Although it may seem counter-intuitive to make your pet feel better by spending less time with them, it will help them take the routine shift in stride and spare you both a potentially heart-wrenching separation come the first day of school.

What to Do Once School is in Full-Swing
Give your pet a lot of exercise and interaction at times when the children are home, or in the morning before he’ll be left alone, and feed them breakfast after. An important equation to learn is: tired muscles plus a full belly equals a relaxed, sleepy pet. A relaxed, sleepy pet is less likely to be bothered about being left alone, since he is just going to want to have a nap.

Finally, when you get home, try not to get your pet too excited about your arrival – go change your clothes or have a snack first so the signal for interaction is the changing or snacking and not the your arrival .

Of course, you can always treat your pet to a day at the pet spa while the kids are in school!

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