If you have kids going back to school, it’s essential to consider how the new norm will affect your pets. These kids have been the pets’ companions the entire summer, enjoying extended family time and basking in their presence. Suddenly leaving your pets at home alone not only upsets them but also exposes them to depression and separation anxiety. Read on to understand the effects of the abrupt change and how to deal with the effects.
Separation Anxiety and Depression Among Pets
This disorder is mainly a result of sudden withdrawal of socialization and companion to your pets, especially during the back-to-school season. In this case, the pet will likely howl or whine excessively and attempt to escape by scratching and digging surfaces. Generally, the pet’s mood will change when you suddenly halt the constant human companionship.
Pets with a history of abuse, trauma, and abandonment are at a higher risk of this disorder than the well-adjusted. The pet’s strong bond with your child may also contribute to the development of the disorder once the child disappears for a substantial time.
Ease The Transition
The best way to avoid developing an anxiety disorder and depression caused by school resumption is to gradually introduce the pets into the new schedule. This practice works best when initiated few weeks leading to the new schedule. You can begin with short absences to get your pet comfortable seeing you leave and gradually prolonging these absences. If you are concerned about your pet’s destructive behavior or soiling, consider introducing crate training. This, too, should happen gradually, allowing time for your pet to acclimate to the idea.
When There’s Minimal Time for Transition
Even without the possibility of separation anxiety, loneliness can be depressing for pets. When there is a sudden reduction of plays and walks, you need to consider the following alternatives to keep the pet cheerful and friendly.
Nowadays, almost every city has numerous pet daycare facilities where you can easily find personalized daycare providers, some running the businesses out of their homes. These facilities allow you to drop your pet at any time and day, depending on the days your child will be schooling. An in-home pet daycare could be the best option if your pet is extremely anxious or requires specialized care.
Toys And E-Nannies
This is an alternative to the human/pet interaction that may not be within your budget. Toys and e-nannies provide a form of mental stimulation that keeps your pet engaged and occupied when no one is at home. They include treat-dispensing toys that use a timer to dispense treats and kibble randomly. There are also more advanced online tools that you can use to dispense the treats via your smartphone.
Minding your pet’s emotional state as you prepare for back to school will help the entire family transition into the new schedule. The smooth transition will also be crucial for your four-legged family members prone to anxiety disorder and boredom. The tips discussed here will enlighten your transition period and help you make peace with your pets as the family pursues other essential goals in life.