Even Pets Get the Back to School Blues
The swimming pools are empty, the streets are quiet, and the houses are still. Summer has ended, and the kids have gone back to school–even the adult ones have driven/flown back off to college.
While fall can be both an exciting or dismal time for students and parents alike, it can really be a bummer for family pets.
Well, family pets that actually like company.
I know in my neighborhood, I always see dogs getting to go on more walks in the summer and I hear more joyful barking coming from backyards than during the school year. Kids sell lemonade in their front yards with the family beagle attached to the table, and the puppy population of the playground increases. They truly are the dog days of summer–in every sense of the word here in Texas.
But summer’s over. Instead of having his favorite boy to romp around the house and share snacks with, Buddy doesn’t have anything much to do anymore. He’s been on this glorious, fun and love-filled schedule for three months and now things are different.
Never forget that dogs are creatures of habit. They thrive on routine and often have reactions to change. Some, like my husband’s lab, are laid back and take everything as it comes. Others, like Buddy, don’t really understand schedule modifications. And what do dogs do when they’re unhappy, lonely, bored, and/or confused?
Ooooh, what don’t they do?
They chew like puppies, forget everything they ever knew about house training, and become neurotic little balls of kinetic energy. They can also sulk and not eat. They miss you or your kids so much that they’re driving you CRAZY. What’s a pet owner to do?
Help Buddy with his transition. He’d help you with yours if he could.
If Buddy has “the lonelies,” consider a day or two of doggy day care a week or leaving him with a friend who has a friendly canine. If Buddy is bored, doggy day care works for that too. You can also make sure he has lots of things to keep his attention, like dog toys and healthy chews. Maybe Buddy just misses the extra love and attention; carve out a place in the schedule for time devoted strictly to making Buddy feel loved.
Dogs, like people, are perfectly capable of adjusting to change. But also like people, they often need some love, consideration, and patience. I mean, you don’t want him to start eating homework, now do you?