Back to School and Your Pets

September in Michigan means one thing for both parents and kids alike… School is starting again. Gone are the carefree, lazy summer days. Instead is a carefully crafted schedule of homework, sports and other after school activities. Parents tend to fall into two camps this time of year. There are those that get teary at the site of their little ones getting ready to head out the door for yet another school year. Then, on the other side of the fence, are those that are doing cartwheels at the prospect of no longer being a referee, teacher and more on top of being a parent!

However you or your kids react to the start of the school year, have you ever stopped to think about how it affects your pets? Consider this… all summer long Fluffy or Fido has had constant companionship. There is always someone around to play with, someone to snuggle up to, someone to hand out a quick pat or treat. Then, suddenly there is only you or your spouse. And if you both work, then there is no one, all day, until the kids get home from school. This can be very disturbing for a pet.

Be aware that you might see some changes in your pets’ behavior this September. Both cats and dogs may show signs of sadness and even depression once the kids return to school. What should you be on the lookout for? Your pets may sleep more and eat less than usual. Your cat may wander around meowing or your dog might stake a claim at the door, waiting. They also might start chewing things or urinating and/or defecating around the house. This usually only happens in extreme cases, but it does occur.

Pets love routines. They get used to things happening at a certain time and having the same loved ones around all day. When that suddenly changes, it is hard for them. They do not understand that you will be home at the end of the day. They only know that they are being left alone. And while some animals show mild signs of sadness, some can have full blown separation anxiety! Therefore, it is important to remember that while it might be an adjustment for you and your kids this fall, it will also take some getting used to for your animals as well. Check out our next blog entry on ways to help your animals cope with the new school year!

By on August 28th, 2013 in Pet Care