Dogs suffer from back-to-school blues

As September rolls in, so do the ‘back to school blues’ – however it’s not only children that suffer from them.

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According to Dr Nick Dodman – a researcher at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts – dogs can also feel very sad once the summer is over and their playmates head back to the classroom.

Many begin to suffer from separation anxiety causing them to bark, howl or whine, destroy something – such as scratching doors and damaging curtains – or have accidents in the house. Some dogs will even refuse to eat when their owners are gone.

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If your canine is feeling sad and beginning to act out, here are our 5 ways to combat the back to school blues:

1) Tackle those blues before they’ve even kicked in – start the new routine before school begins and this will help ease your pooch into the September term.

2) If you will also be heading back to work or running errands during the day – hire a dog walker or leave your pooch with a pet sitter so they don’t feel so alone.

3) Treat your pet to an interactive dog toy – this will make them focus on working for treats or toys rather than their absent playmate.

4) As hard as it may be – don’t indulge your pet’s behaviour with sympathy. If you need some help, take your dog to an obedience class or a dog trainer who can teach you how to be calm but assertive with them.

5) Exercise your pooch with a rigorous walk in the morning – by the time your children leave for school, your dog should be resting and sleepy.

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