Dogs Get Back To School Blues
Everyone knows that kids don’t always love the day when they have to go back to school. Especially at the start of a new year in September, it can be daunting to begin a new academic year. With the October half term approaching, kids are probably looking forward to a nice break. However, it is not just teachers, parents and children that suffer back to school blues. A new study has revealed that dogs aren’t particularly happy when the new school term begins.
Some dogs suffer with separation anxiety, especially when their owners go out for long periods and they are left on their own. When the new school term starts it is not just the adults they miss, some dogs get sad when the kids are not at home with them during the day. It’s understandable that the house would feel more empty when school begins, making some dogs feel more anxious than usual. It’s just now a study has been conducted that looks into the reactions of dogs when kids go back to school.
A study carried out by Tufts University in Massachusetts found that dogs get separation anxiety when their young owners go back to school. Dodman found that ‘80 million dogs in the US had separation anxiety.’
Our pooches tend to feel a little bit abandoned when everyone is out of the house. Dr Nick Dodman who was in charge of the studied claims we need to ‘make departure a happy time with toys and treats.’ Don't make a huge fuss and talk to your dog in a sympathetic voice just before you leave the house. It’s also useful to create somewhere in your home where your dog is completely comfortable. They can go there when you leave and have all their favourite toys available to play with.
Some dogs can become destructive when they get left on their own. They might get more stressed when the kids go back to school because more people are leaving the house at the same time. The study found that dogs displayed anxious behaviour such as barking, howling and whining when their owners leave.
Another way of helping dogs adjust to this change is starting a new routine even before the new school term starts. That way your dog can gradually adjust rather than it being a sudden change.
Dogs will get more excited when you get home, Dodman says ‘there will be an exuberant greeting when you do come home, one that can last several minutes and be completely crazy, then the dog will run to the food bowl.’