Even pets get the back-to-school blues

Even pets get the back-to-school blues

Summer is unofficially over and school hallways are bustling with activities. Here's a guide your clients can use to help their pets adjust.
source-image
Sep 12, 2011
By dvm360.com staff

Parents may be rejoicing the start of school, but some pets may be feeling a little left out. Take some time this fall to educate clients about how to keep their pets happy as the children head back to school. According to the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority, 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

Clients who notice these behaviors in their pets should take specific measures to address them. Suggest these strategies:

> Introduce short separations to help the pet become accustomed to the upcoming schedule change.
> Foster the pet’s independence by helping it play alone with toys and engage in activities.
> When the pet is alone, leave it an interactive toy via a food dispenser, such as a Kong.
> Do not punish or scold the 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, encourage the client to set up a follow up appointment with your clinic.

Hot topics on dvm360

Blog: Election results pose obstacles for veterinary prescription law

Flip in U.S. Senate's majority may slow progress of Fairness to Pet Owners Act.

7 steps to a better relationship between veterinarians and rescue groups

A DVM in the city shares his advice to veterinary practices for working with rescues.

The war between shelters, veterinarians needs to end

Despite practitioners’ legitimate gripes, they’re hurting themselves.

Making it work: Cavanaugh Pet Hospital dedicates itself to a positive, productive shelter relationship

Watch "Moustakas" benefit from Cavanaugh Pet Hospital's partnership with Furry Kids Refuge.

Ebola-exposed dog's first test for the virus is negative

Bentley will continue to be treated with an abundance of caution for the remainder of his quarantine, while his owner has been declared 'virus-free.'