September is here! Our summers are winding down and our schedules are filling up. As we transition from our lazy summer days to schedules packed with school, practice and appointments it can be stressful on us and our family, including our four-legged friends.
Separation anxiety seems to spike in the fall as our pets experience more time alone and less exercise. PetPlan conducted a survey using 4,000 of their customers, and found that 26% pet owners with kids going to school noticed their pet experienced more symptoms of separation anxiety in September. Interestingly, only 10% of families that didn't have children going to school saw a change in their pet's behavior.
When your pet's human friends return to school, it can be upsetting for them. If you're concerned your pet will be stressed by changes to their routine and extra time spent alone, keep reading. We'll review how to tell if your pet is stressed or suffering from separation anxiety, and how you can make the back-to-school transition easier on them.
Signs of Separation Anxiety
When left alone our pets can experience separation anxiety and boredom, and understanding the difference will allow you to better help your pet. Signs of separation anxiety begin as you are leaving your pet. For some pets this can begin when you grab your keys or put on your coat, for others it starts as you are walking out the door. Here are some signs your pet is experiencing separation anxiety:
How to Help Your Pet
So what can you do to help keep your pet calm and happy?
Returning to a busy school schedule can be stressful on the whole family, and it's important to remember how sensitive our pets can be to changes in their routine. Keeping your pet active and taking the time to practice leaving them for longer periods of time can help reduce their stress. However, if your pet is still stressed and showing signs of separation anxiety contact your vet to discuss other options that might be more helpful for your pet.