Back-to-school season is fast approaching and kids everywhere are watching their summer vacations draw to a close. While they may get a case of the blues, the end of playtime can also affect happy dogs.
The Kansas City Star reported that pooches used to running outside with their young buddies get upset as the dog days of summer disappear and make way for the fall. While they’ll eventually adapt to the situation and wait anxiously at the door for the bus to roll around, many dogs feel sad and abandoned once the school year picks up. As a result, canines might look for ways to lash out.
Nick Dodman, B.V.M.S, from Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, explained that many American dogs experience separation anxiety, especially as kids head back to school. In response, family canines will bark, howl, whine, scratch doors, tear curtains or have accidents as they feel the blues. For Dianne Larson of Santa Clarita, California, her year-old black Labrador still searches the house for Dianne’s son Tanner.
“She stays in his room. If his door is closed, she will whine to get in,” said Larson, quoted by the news source.
Side effects of separation aren’t just limited to whimpering and whining, as some dogs will even refuse to eat if their owners leave. They can develop anxiety as well and become panicked when loud noises occur, such as thunderstorms.
Maintaining a happy dog
Managing canine blues is no easy task, and sometimes recommended independence training with a professional can be expensive. But there are some things that owners can do to ease their dogs’ sadness and keep them energetic and joyful.
If you have to leave your pet alone for the day, here are some secrets to a happy dog.
- Car rides: Much like letting the top down on a long summer drive, dogs love having their ears flapping in the wind. The Dogington Post recommended that after a long day of being alone, the family pooch should be taken out for an evening spin to lift his spirits. He’ll like taking in all of the scenery and smells he misses out on at home.
- Relaxing home: DogVacay explained that while it’s important for owners to be comfortable leaving their dog home alone, they should also make sure that the family pooch is happy in the environment. He needs enough space to play, eat and relax while you’re at work or the kids are in school. Your furry companion will be much happier if he feels safe and calm while waiting for your family to get home.
- Once-a-day play: According to Care to Adopt, you have to set aside ample time to play with your dog every day. He’ll most likely be excited once you walk in the door and drag along his favorite chew toy to drop at your feet. Rather than immediately begin planning dinner, start playing with your dog to burn off some of his pent-up energy that he generated throughout the day. Take him outside to run around the yard for a half hour and then feed him a well-balanced meal.
- Vitamin supplements: Keeping dogs happy also means making sure they’re healthy, and multivitamins can help. For example, PetCareRx’s Feeling Healthy Everyday supplement contains nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin E and vitamin B-12 to give dogs that extra edge they might miss out on from food alone. The chewable tablets are easy to digest and ensure that your canine is always at his best.
With a PetPlus membership, pet owners can purchase leading medications and supplements at discounted prices to maintain a happy dog.
Sign up today and help keep your pooch full of joy.