• Dominique Oppenheimer

Back to School Stress

Did you know that you are not the only one to experience back to school stress? - And let me take a side trip here, this is my first experience with back to school stress, Leo my five year old has started Kindergarten and this week has not been easy. Truly I've spent most of the week swinging between being very sad that my littles are going to school every day and just about losing my mind when my tired, cranky littles come home from school. I'm looking forward to things getting back to a normal routine.

So back to what I was going to say - the schedule change of going back to school can cause stress in our pets as well. Both dogs and cats live by routines and when those go through an upheaval they can began to show a variety of signs. (Refer to the picture for a large number of stress symptoms, some of them will surprise you)

So what can you do? First of all maintain the routines of feeding time, play time, exercise, and training. Routines are the basis for all anxiety management and it is your responsibility as a pet owner to not let the business of life get in the way to much. Now we all know that life isn't perfect and things happen so don't expect to much from yourself just do the best you can.

Second thing to keep in mind - if your seeing signs of things like loose stools, increased urinations, limping, or other signs of physical issues - tell your vet. You always want to rule out any physical difficulties or illness. Its worth a quick call to your vet just to put your mind at ease.

One of the best ways to help make a change in your dogs reactions to stress is to attach the bad things that are happening to a good thing i.e. you get your keys (usually something that causes stress) and give your dog a special treat, your kids back pack makes your dog upset? leave the back pack out while your playing ball. Theres lots of ways to attach negative to lots of positive things. Be creative and have fun with it.

And as for the rest of the stress kids going back to school, going to collage, or going any where else - that I don't know about , maybe a glass of wine or a bottle. Or something harder maybe, dark chocolate, dark chocolate with sea salt? If you figure it out let me know.

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