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How Back-To-School Season Can Trigger Separation Anxiety In Pets


The back-to-school season is a time of change, excitement, and anxiety for many children. But it can also trigger separation anxiety in pets — especially dogs. It is estimated that one in four to six dogs experience separation anxiety, but many more dogs may suffer silently, and their anxiety goes unnoticed by their owners.


Separation Anxiety And Back To School Season

This period can be especially difficult for dogs who have had to change homes before being adopted into their current families. Since they have come to love their owners so much, they may not understand why their favorite human left them, resulting in more stress and anxiety for the pooch. 

Additionally, most dogs are very sensitive to routine changes during back-to-school months. Your dog's feeding time, exercise, and even sleep routines will be disrupted during the back-to-school month, leading to stress and anxiety.


How Do You Know If Your Pet Has Separation Anxiety?

If you notice behavioral changes in your pet, such as chewing on items that smell like their favorite companion or going to the bathroom in inappropriate places, he/she may be suffering from separation anxiety. Additional symptoms include:

  • Barking or howling continuously when left alone
  • Pacing both in circles and in straight lines
  • Digging at doors and windowsills, chewing on objects, or chewing on door frames and window sills
  • Attempting to escape when alone or separated from his guardian,  


It is essential not to ignore the symptoms of separation anxiety. Taking action is crucial if your pet has difficulties when you or a family member leaves. 


How To Help Your Pet Transition Into The New Normal.

Don't make a big deal out of leaving or coming home. Dramatic goodbyes when your dog sees you off may leave them feeling abandoned. Instead, keep things low-key so your dog doesn't become anxious or fearful about being left alone. Keep your voice low when returning home from school or work, and try not to make too much of a fuss about being away, either. 


Schedule Extra Play and exercise time in the morning and evening. Build play and exercise into your morning routine, then gradually spend less time playing or exercising with your dog as the time for leaving draws near. Remember to leave your dog with an activity he enjoys, such as a treat-dispensing toy. A tired dog is less likely to be anxious about your leaving. 


Desensitization Techniques:

  1. Start by doing all the things you usually do before leaving home—such as getting your keys, grabbing your purse or wallet, opening the door—and then sitting back down again. Repeat this process until your dog shows no distress.
  2. Try leaving the house for a few minutes at a time. Close the door behind you and return immediately. Practice leaving your dog for more extended periods until, eventually, you can leave him alone for an hour or two at a stretch.


Give Doggy Daycare A Try: You can help your pet stay calm and relaxed during the day by taking them to doggy daycare while you are at work and the kids are at school. Doggy daycare has everything your pet needs to keep them safe, comfortable, and happy while you are away. This includes supervised playtime, a place to rest and nap, socialization with other dogs, and even training classes if your dog needs them.


It's important to know that sometimes dogs and other pets are upset by changes in the household. The best way to help your pet adjust is by providing as much structure as possible while they're adapting to the new routine.


Doggie Daycare At Carefree Pet Resort Is A Fantastic Daytime Destination For Your Pet!

At Carefree Pet Resort, we offer dog daycare in Carefree and will make sure your canine friend enjoys their visit with us. Your dog will get the chance to socialize with new and familiar dogs. They can relax with a good ear scratch or run, chase and catch anything and everything that comes into their line of sight. We encourage you to schedule a free meet and greet to check if doggie daycare is a good fit for your furry companion.


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Lobby Hours

Monday to Friday: 7:00am to 6:30pm
Saturday: 8:00am to 6:00pm
Sundays (Guest Pick Ups Only Please):
8:00am to 9:00am | 5:00pm to 6:00pm