Oregon Humane Society
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Dog Depressed Because Kids are Back at School?

 

You've prepared the kids for back to school, but how about the dog? Your dog may experience some separation anxiety as the family becomes more focused on school-related activities that pull you and your kids away from home.

 

The Oregon Humane Society offers some suggestions to help you and your dog adjust during back-to-school time:  

  • Introduce interactive toys for your dog that will keep him entertained (such as those available at Oregon Humane Society's Best Friends' Corner Pet Supply store and other retail locations).
  • Kongs stuffed with peanut butter or some other favorite treat and then hidden (but easy to find) around the dog's play area will give your dog hours of enjoyment and mental stimulation. A busy dog is not a destructive dog.  
  • Check out doggie daycares in your area - they may be worth the expense for a day or two of supervised play and exercise.  
  • Take your dog for long morning walks to get him/her plenty of exercise.
  • Spend quality time with your dog when you are at home. Include the dog in family activities, reassuring your canine he is still an important part of the family.
  • Ask your vet, dog trainer, or the OHS Behavior Department [(503) 285-7722 ext. 227] for information on separation anxiety and crate training. OHS has plenty of information to help you with training your dog online.
  • Give your dog plenty of attention and time to adjust to the family being away more during the day.

 

Dog hiding in covers

 

 

Since dogs often become very attached to their humans, especially children, here are some reminders to keep your dog safe as your kids head back to school:

  • A dog who accompanies your child to the bus stop may wander further from home than intended. To keep your dog from becoming lost, have him and your child say good bye at the door, rather than at the bus stop. Then keep your dog securely inside your home to resist his urge to follow your child down the street.
  • Kids tend to flock together after school for fun and games. Strange children and excitement could cause your dog to nip or bite. Be sure to make proper introductions and to provide instructions on how to interact safely with your dog.

 

You can also contact the Oregon Humane Society free Pet Behavior Helpline at (503) 416-2983; or by email.