When we think about separation anxiety we think – humans… but evidence suggests our furry family members also suffer separation anxiety, especially at back to school time.
Of the articles I’ve read 60% - 70% of dogs may suffer separation anxiety during back to school time....This is a huge increase on the usual 20% of dogs who suffer separation anxiety each day.
Even more concerning is the statistic that 30% of dogs are likely to have some type of accident from being too upset, anxious or destructive.
As a dog lover & the inventor of Tricky Treats I know my dog gets sad once we go back to work after holidays. My friends with kids going back to school or starting kindy for the first time tell me their dogs start doing things they’ve never done before…. chewing kids shoes and toys, peeing inside when they’ve been house trained for years, barking at every sound or digging in the middle of the lawn!
After weeks of regular contact with you and the kids, dogs find themselves home alone with nothing exciting to do. Without the distraction of you, most backyards or home environments don’t stimulate dogs during the day resulting in boredom and destructive or negative behaviours.
So what can you do to reduce your Dog’s back to school blues?
We asked our Tricky Treats community - here are eight tips from fellow dog lovers:
- Exercise - We exercise our dog in the morning so I feel better about leaving him & hopefully he sleeps away part of the day. I walk my dog morning and night in the hope she’s more tired than bored during the day.
- Practise sneaking out - We try and leave the house without being seen by our dog so he’s less sad and I feel less guilty! A week before school starts we practise leaving the house all at the same time, not making a big fuss of our dog and hopefully easing her into being alone again.
- Noise - My Dad leaves the TV on for his Boxer to watch. We leave the radio on for music & voices talking to keep our pugs company.
- Hide & Seek - We spend a lot of time hiding treats in the yard for our Border Collie – spread out so they are harder to find…
- Helpful Neighbours - We have a great neighbour who drops a bone or toy over the fence about 10am or 2pm!
- Lunchtime visit - I work close to home so I actually drive home from work on my break to play with my dog…especially since the Ranger has been around twice for barking!
- Play dates & Day care - Like a child, I take our dog to a friend’s house for a play date. We pay for doggy day care three times a week so we only feel like bad “pawparents” two days a week.
- Two’s company - We got another dog which is going ok so far. I have a friend who bought a rabbit to keep their poodle company!
Cesar Millan, World Leading Dog Behaviourist says “give your dog jobs to do!”
Tricky Treats is designed to automatically deliver fun toys & treats, “things to do” to keep your dog positively occupied every day!
In the rush of back to school, please take a few minutes to consider your furry mate - how can you make your dog’s days more fun & interesting when you can’t be there.
Thanks for loving your dog as much as they love you!
Cherelle - Inventor & Co-founder
“Happiness for Dogs!”