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Posted on 08-18-2017

Separation Anxiety: Back to School Blues

Dog who is in pursuit of his owner at the top of a cliff, experiencing separation anxiety due to being often distant from his owner.

The start of a new school year is a difficult time for the entire family. It is particularly challenging for your pets due to the changes they face in your daily routine. When you and your family will no longer have the time to care for a pet throughout the day, you may face challenges with separation anxiety. By understanding the challenges and working with an Apple Valley veterinarian in Plantsville, you address the underlying concerns and help your pet adapt to the upcoming changes.

What is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety in a pet refers to unwanted behaviors that occur when you and family members are not in the house. It may range from tearing up pillows and bad behavior to taking measures to prevent the family from leaving the house. In some cases, a pet may seem listless and depressed by the sudden changes. By addressing the underlying causes of the anxiety at an animal clinic, you reduce the risk of complications or problems when your children return to school and you focus on their needs.

Advantages of a Pet Wellness Exam before Changes Start

A pet wellness exam before the start of the school year gives you an opportunity to prevent separation anxiety in your pet. Apple Valley veterinarians in Southington evaluate your pet's health and identifies potential risk factors. Depending on the situation, the appropriate veterinary care provided to your pet will vary. We may recommend medications to limit stress and anxiety during the first days of a new change.

You also want to ensure that you only reward the behaviors you want and avoid giving your pet attention or rewards for bad behavior. For example, giving into your pet's whining or cries when you know your pet is safe from potential harm, rewards undesired behavior and encourages repetition in the future. Encouraging your pet after a recognizable phrase such as “I’ll be back,” and rewarding him when he learns to be calm while you step away a short distance is the first step in teaching him that the phrase means he is to stay calm until you return from a long time away.

When to Seek an Apple Valley Veterinarian in Southington

When measures to prevent unwanted behaviors do not work on your pet due to separation anxiety, talk to an Apple Valley veterinarian in Southington. A professional in our clinic evaluates the possibility of separation anxiety and then provides a treatment strategy based on your pet's behavior and situation.

Changing your routine and going back to school may cause discomfort for your pet due to the sudden adjustments, but you can address the anxiety with proper veterinary care. To learn more about treating anxiety in your pets due to a change in your normal routine or to set up an appointment with a veterinarian, call 860-628-9635 today.

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