Youngsters aren’t the only sad ones when school opens. Pets, particularly dogs, used to months of playing and receiving attention can get blues when their best kid buddies disappear.
Dogs get school opening blues too!
Several dogs whimper and wait at the front door all day until they eventually get used to the absence of their young owners again. But some dogs may feel abandoned, and unable to cope, thus, looking for ways to lash out.
In the U.S., around 80 million dogs have separation anxiety, Dr. Nick Dodman, of Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts, said citing studies.
Dogs with separation anxiety will bark, howl or whine; destroy something, leaving behind scratched doors, damaged blinds or torn curtains; or have accidents, Dodman said.
Dianne Larson experienced this first hand. Ruby, her Labrador, still searches for her son when he’s gone, even though school started two weeks ago.
“She stays in his room. If his door is closed, she will whine to get in,” Dianne Larson said. If Ruby isn’t in Tanner’s room, she’s at the front window waiting for him.
Anxious dogs don’t stop at whining. Some dogs refuse to eat when their owners are not around.
“There will be an exuberant greeting when you do come home, one that can last several minutes and be completely crazy, then the dog will run to the food bowl,” Dodman said.
Nearly half of the anxious pooches are extremely scared of noise, so if a storm or hard rain hits while they are alone, they can panic. An insecure dog might become clingy and follow their owners around.
Aside from the recommended independence training, here are some things owners can do to ease their dogs’ blues.
- Make your leaving a happy time for your dogs with toys and treats.
- Create a special place in the house where the dog feels safe.
- Start the new routine before school starts.
- Don’t indulge behavior with baby talk or sympathy.
- See an expert if it doesn’t improve.
- To cope with sepanx, Harry Williams takes the family dogs, Flora and Gandalf, to the bus stop every morning to have a bit more time with them.
“He is sad to leave them and hugs them like 10 times before he gets on the bus. Usually Flora whines when the bus pulls away,” mom Jill Williams said. But the two mostly sleep while Harry is at school.
“Honestly, they don’t really seem fazed by it other than when Harry gets on and off the school bus,” Williams said.
For those whose dogs have more serious problems, there are more options. These options could be a little pricier but the list includes pet sitters, dog walkers and doggy day camp.
Image: Tony Alter/Flickr
Source: ABC News