This is a big week if you have school-age children! The kids are either super excited or seriously dreading the start of the new school year and your wallets are probably hurting from the hit they take buying all the necessary accoutrements. Within the next 48 hours, the big yellow buses will be back on track and the house will be back to some semblance of peace and quiet during the day. Did you ever think about how that might affect your pet?
A good friend of mine was telling me a story about her little dog that reminded me of how sensitive pets can be to changes in households and family routines.
In this particular case my friend has a pool so her house was a popular destination for her girls and all their friends on all those warm summer days. The dog was an adorable little Shih Tzu-type that loved the kids and basked in all the attention that he got from them. After one particularly active summer with the kids, September came and the dog went into a serious depression. Once the kids left, "Skipper's" appetite tanked, he became lethargic and far from his usual happy, tail-wagging little self.
Along with their social nature, they also require some stimulus to keep them balanced and behaving well. Boredom and a lack of exercise are the primary causes of bad behavior in dogs. The need for physical activity can vary greatly among breeds and breed mixes but companionship and mental stimulation are absolute necessities across the board.
This can happen when any type of change occur within the family that disrupt a dog's life. Divorce, work routines, illness or death of a family member are all major factors in a pet's life. Although dogs are much better at living in the present than humans are, they are still susceptible to depression and mourning.