DON’T LET YOUR PET SUFFER THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL BLUES!

Posted on September 11, 2011. Filed under: 1. Daily Life | Tags: , , , , |

SEAACA Provides Smart and Practical Tips to Help Beloved Animals Stay Happy and Secure as Families Head Back to School

Dogs, cats and other pets can suffer separation anxiety, especially during the fall.  As kids start a new academic year, pets around the country may need help to adjust from a freewheeling summer of fun and a house full of people to lonely days waiting for children to return from school or adults to come home from work.  For these situations, SEAACA (Southeast Area Animal Control Authority; www.seaaca.org) has created a list of behaviors to look for, as well as solutions to help alleviate the back-to-school blues.

Many behaviors can signal a pet’s anxiety or sadness because of a shift from a summer to a school schedule.  These behaviors may include:

  • Excessive pacing, barking or meowing
  • Urinating or defecating in the home or in unapproved areas
  • Escape attempts
  • Destruction of furniture or toys
  • Unusual chewing, digging or other frantic behavior


If such behaviors are evident, pet owners can take specific measures to help their animals.  Some strategies to consider include:

  • Introduce short separations to help your pet become accustomed to the upcoming schedule change
  • Foster your pet’s independence by helping him or her play alone with toys and other activities
  • When your pet is alone, leave her or him an interactive toy via a food dispenser, such as the Kong
  • Do not punish or scold your pet for unusual behavior during the adjustment period (the behavior could be rooted in fear, and punishment could exacerbate that insecurity)
  • If the behavior does not improve, seek the help of an animal behaviorist or your local veterinarian


“Back-to-school is a wonderful time for families, but it can be anxiety-provoking for pets, especially for some shelter pets who haven’t had stable homes before,” noted SEAACA Executive Director, Dan Morrison.  “If pet owners know what to look for and are equipped with preventive and healing techniques, this annual rite of fall can be more pleasant for everyone,” he added.

For more information about SEAACA, please visit www.seaaca.org.

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