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Back to school might mean separation anxiety for your pooch

As kids go back to school the stress on every family member can be enormous – parents, kids, and even 4-legged kids (the family dog). For those who have kids going off to college, it’s also common to experience “empty nest syndrome”…well our pets can feel it too.

Think about this, all summer they have been the center of attention and have had routines put in place. That might have included morning walks, evening walks, rides in the car, backyard fun time, and just hanging with the gang! The first day of school and their world gets turned upside down. Suddenly their pals who were there all the time are gone for hours on end. Or in the case of the college student, your family pet likely had years of bonding with your son or daughter, but now their gone.

This is when bad behavior can crop up or your pet may exhibit signs of depression. How do you prevent the bad behavior, or a the very least, help beat the blues? There are a few tricks that may work:

    • Exercise daily – walks, outdoor play, or indoor doggie play dates will help them burn off steam and keep them mentally stimulated
    • Keep them occupied – the DOGTV might be one solution, or open windows for them to watch outside, or try a Rumba
    • Scents – leave a shirt or another piece of clothing behind for your pet to snuggle with. It will help more so with the separation anxiety.

In most cases, it’s a matter of keeping them occupied, and mentally and physically stimulated.

Don’t Let Dogs Get Bored
Boredom is a primary reason dogs begin to exhibit common behavior problems when back-to-school time rolls around. You and your family may not have as much time to spend with your dog as everyone gets used to a new schedule, and this can lead to boredom, which in turn leads to behavior problems such as excessive barking and destructive behavior. How do you beat the boredom?

Establish a Routine
Dogs are creatures of habit. Part of the reason dogs get so stressed when the kids go back to school is that it causes major changes in their routines. You can ease a dog’s stress during this time by quickly establishing new routines. Of course new routines mean that the family has to rearrange their schedules to participate in these new routines, yup more stress on the whole family.

So maybe …..

Villa La PAWS is the new routine! Doggie Daycare helps keep dogs physical and mentally stimulated, they meet new friends, get lots of attention, tons of playtime, group behavior instruction, which re-enforces their social skills. All of this results in one tired pup.

Take Dogs Back to School, Too
Back to school time for the kids may also be a great time to start an obedience program with your dog. Enroll you or another family member with your dog in a Villa La PAWS Dog obedience class. Your dog is sure to benefit from brushing up on obedience. It will offer him mental stimulation, and it also provides some one-on-one bonding time for you and your dog. This can go a long way in getting a dog adjusted to a new routine.

HAPPY DOGS = HAPPY FAMILIES!

Posted in: VLP Dog Phoenix Training

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