Returning to school after a long, lazy summer can be a bit difficult, not only for kids but for their household pets. Fortunately, kids can meet up with their friends at school and become immersed in school-related activities, whereas their pets are simply stuck at home, feeling lonely.
During the summer months, household pets often enjoy extensive hours of interaction with their owners, and the sudden change as kids return to school in the fall can be shocking and distressing. Different pets can display this shock and distress in different ways, but the bottom line is that they are uncomfortable and need some attention to help them deal with it.
Handling Your Pet’s Back-to-School Anxiety
Obviously you should not alter your entire life in order to suit your pet’s needs or desires, as much as they may want you to. That said, instituting a basic rhythm and routine to your own and your pet’s life can go a long way in helping reduce their back-to-school anxiety. Even though this new routine is far different from the one they were experiencing during the summer months, the simple fact that it is a routine makes it predictable, which is what pets love. Much of their anxiety about the back-to-school time will be reduced or even eliminated when they feel they recognize the household routine. This includes waking up around the same time every day, feeding them around the same time every day and so forth.
It is very important to ensure that your pet still receives the daily attention he needs. It may be true that you cannot sit and play with them for hours on end, or take them for that incredibly long walk every day, but you can still give them regular attention and exercise. If you feel that you are simply gone from the house for too long at a time, or that your schedule does not permit you to give your pet the exercise they truly need, you can look into taking your pet to a “pet daycare” facility or even hiring a pet walker. If you do choose one of these options, it is vital to ensure that whoever you hire to help you care for your beloved pet is trained and experienced. To really be safe, check to see if they are licensed and bonded.
Some pets can also be helped with their anxiety issues through the use of natural, gentle products, such as the Thundershirt, a pressure wrap that sustains gentle, constant pressure over the chest and helps with thunderstorm phobia and other anxieties, Feliway and Adaptil, natural pheromone products that have a calming effect on pets, Through a Dog’s Ear or Through a Cat’s Ear, musical pieces that were designed specifically to have a calming effects on these household pets, and much more. If in doubt, you can check with your pet’s veterinarian about the natural, gentle, calming product that may work best to help them through their anxiety issues.
Of course, if your pet is suffering from more severe anxiety issues, there may be far more going on that just back-to-school anxiety, and you should contact your pet’s veterinarian to ascertain whether they are also medical issues to be addressed.
A Happy Household
Our pets can bring great joy and satisfaction into our lives, but in return they desire a stable routine and environment. With great changes in their lives, such as kids heading back to school after a long summer at home, pets need additional support in order to make the transition smoothly. Taking the time to give them the attention they need throughout this time can help to ensure a smoother transition for everyone in the household.