It happens every year. Back-to-school season sneaks up on us when we’re out on summer’s trails, and suddenly a lot of us are going through some pretty big changes. It’s not just the humans in our households, either… the shift into fall is definitely felt by our four-legged kids, too.
Our dogs and other pets love their household routines. Pets rely on routine, order, and expectations. Heading back to school upends their sense of order. Suddenly, a house once full of reliable activity gets quiet, and with families and kids gone, it’s easy to get lonely. It’s a huge shift, and it’s really, really hard on our pets.
You may have seen some of the signs: chewing and other destructive behavior, accidents, excessive whining or barking, scratching, panting, pacing, disobedience, waiting by doors and windows, and (though we hope not!) even running away. That’s what separation anxiety looks like. So what can we do to help?
One idea that works for us is to begin the process a few weeks earlier. Have everyone start to spend some time away from home during the day. Head out for an hour or so and work your way up to whole afternoons away so that you get your pets used to being by themselves.
A “puzzle” toy stuffed with food works well, too - pups have to work hard to get their reward, and it’ll keep them busy during all those chaotic morning departures. Tuck it away when you’re all back home.
You can also leave your dog with some recently worn clothes so they can still smell you while you’re gone. If you’ve got felines in the family, hide some kibble bits around the house for them to suss out, or you can set up a window perch with a birdhouse view.
During evening family reunions, lavish your pets with heaps of attention and exercise - if your pup is anything like Austin, tired means happy! Still having a tough time getting used to things? Try a CBD dog biscuit or our CBD oil first thing in the morning. You may find it’s just what you need to ease your furry friends’ anxiety so they can enjoy the new season with the rest of us.