dog behavior

Even Dogs Get the Back to School Blues

sad lucyFor the past couple of weeks, students everywhere have shown signs of that seasonal bug, the Back to School blues.  The end of summer means less time to play outside with friends, and more time devoted to classes and homework.  That’s enough to put most kids in a bit a funk, but did you know the family dog might also share their pain?

That’s right, dogs can suffer from the Back to School blues, too.  This week, Dog Tails gives families tips to help their dog manage the transition from summer vacation to a new school year.  By following this prescribed “homework,” you can help banish these blues soon and restore your dog to a happy state.

Dogs are sensitive to changes in their daily routine.  Back to school represents a particular challenge.  Days once filled with outdoor play, activities and attention are now mostly solitary and a lot less exciting.  To ease the transition, experts suggest slowly adjusting the dog’s schedule to the new routine.  Shift playtime and walks to morning and evening hours, and away from school hours.

This gradual transition can help avoid the dreaded curse of back to school season: separation anxiety.  These feelings often cause dogs to act out in destructive ways, including excessive barking and chewing or eating things they shouldn’t.

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Fireworks and French Bulldog puppy

Boom Boom, Woof Woof: Controlling a Dog’s Fear of Fireworks

Fireworks combine awe-inspiring visuals with pulse-pounding sound to create dramatic, can’t miss effects. Yet while we “ooh” and “aah” at these colorful explosions, our animals are often more frightened than enlightened.

In this week’s post, DogWatch has compiled information from dog experts across the country to help you prepare your dog for this year’s Independence Day fireworks shows. We have also looked into another related summer-themed fear common among pets – thunderstorms – and will share those tips with you as well. Your dog may never love fireworks as much as you do, but you can still help him or her stay calm and happy on this most exciting day of the summer. Read post »