Advertisement
 
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Amsterdam, NY ,
Advertisement

The family pets get depressed when the kids go back to school

Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - Updated: 6:47 AM

By SUE MANNING

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Young people aren't the only ones who get back-to-school blues. Pooches used to months of constant playtime can get upset when their best buddies disappear with the dog days of summer.

Many dogs whine and wait eagerly at the front door but eventually adjust to the absence of their young owners when they are in class. But millions of dogs can feel abandoned, sad and unable to cope -- and they look for ways to lash out.

Many of the nation's 80 million dogs have separation anxiety, Dr. Nick Dodman, of Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts, said citing studies.

Dogs with separation anxiety will bark, howl or whine; destroy something, leaving behind scratched doors, damaged blinds or torn curtains; or have accidents, Dodman said.

Dianne Larson of Santa Clarita, California, has seen it firsthand. School started two weeks ago, and year-old Ruby, a black Lab, still searches for Larson's son Tanner, 14, when he's gone.

"She stays in his room. If his door is closed, she will whine to get in," Dianne Larson said. If the dog isn't in Tanner's room, she's at the front window watching for him.

Side effects for anxious dogs don't stop at whimpering. Some dogs refuse to eat when their owners are gone, experts say.

"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," Dodman said.

Nearly half the anxious dogs have noise phobias, so if a storm hits while they are in an empty house, they can panic. A really insecure dog might become clingy and follow their owners around.

Besides recommended independence training, there are some things owners can do to ease their dogs' blues. Dodman suggests:

* Make your departure a happy time with toys and treats.

* Create a place in the house where the dog feels safe.

* Start the new routine before school begins.

* Don't indulge behavior with baby talk or sympathy.

* See a vet if it doesn't improve.

To cope with separation, first-grader Harry Williams of Kanab, Utah, takes the family dogs, Flora and Gandalf, to the bus stop each morning to get a bit more time with them.

"He is sad to leave them and hugs them like 10 times before he gets on the bus. Usually Flora whines when the bus pulls away," mom Jill Williams said. But the dogs mostly sleep while the youngster is at school.

"Honestly, they don't really seem fazed by it other than when Harry gets on and off the school bus," Williams said.

For those whose dogs have more serious problems, other more expensive options include pet sitters, dog walkers and doggy day camp.

For the young Grimmett sisters in Edmond, Oklahoma, their dogs, an English setter and a Yorkshire terrier, got plenty of attention and outdoor playtime over the summer, but the dogs don't throw a fit when 10-year-old Willow and 5-year-old Coral go to school, which started this month.

The dogs welcome the girls home with unconditional love and affection -- and no criticism, said mom, Dr. Danel Grimmett of the Sunset Veterinarian Clinic.

"Yes, they miss their girls, but they seem to understand," she said. "And all the time away during the day disappears as soon as the girls return."

     

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Advertisement
The Recorder Sports Schedule

 

The Recorder Newscast

Most Popular

    Now open, the 9/11 museum seeing influx of new artifacts
    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    Nurses union drops its plan for St. Mary's
    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    B-P boys soccer registers shutout
    Friday, September 12, 2014

    Benefit set for former Fonda-Fultonville standout Comeau
    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    2015 almanac predicting a bitter winter
    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    State campgrounds were cookin' this season
    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    Muni to host special guest
    Friday, September 12, 2014

    Man sentenced for welfare fraud
    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    Hart breaks school rushing record in Braves' romp
    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    Patriots charge past GF, 30-7
    Saturday, September 13, 2014

Advertisement

Copyright © Port Jackson Media, LLC.

Privacy Policies: Recorder

Contact Us

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook