Dog Walkers Help Beat the Doggy Back-to-School Blues

beat the doggy back to school blues

Dog Walkers Help Dogs Beat the Back-to-School Blues

Your pups have played with you and the kids all day this summer, but with school starting their happy routine grinds to a halt and pivots back to hectic school schedules. This means many changes for your dogs, who go from being with you all day to being left to a quiet, lonely house for long stretches at a time. Dogs can suffer from such drastic changes in routine- especially those who have anxiety issues, which is why our dog walkers are ready to help with these tips for beating the back-to-school blues.

Prepare for the Back-to-School Dog Blues

If your kids are going back to school, be prepared for howling, barking, or whining (70 percent of anxious dogs), destroying objects (60 percent) and maybe having accidents (30 percent). Sometimes anxiety, fueled by inner fears or exterior noises like storms, will lead to dogs destroying doors, blinds, and curtains in their frenzy. According to Dr. Nick Dodman of Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic, “There will be an exuberant greeting when you do come home, one that can last several minutes and be completely crazy, then the dog will run to the food bowl.”

Tips on Relieving Dog Anxiety

There are ways you can smooth the transition between the dog days of summer and the back-to-school blues, including:

  • Giving pups treats and toys when you leave,
  • Playing down departures and arrivals,
  • Creating a safe space in your home where they can rest comfortably and happily,
  • Practicing your new routine with your dog instead of abruptly heading to school,
  • Enlisting the help of dog walkers to break up the monotony of long days.

The above tips work well for dogs without severe anxiety. If your dog suffers from severe anxiety, it’s important to get to perform independence training, where you discourage them from following you around the house all day. While it’s comforting for both you and your pet, letting them stay by your side all day is ultimately detrimental to your pet’s mental health as it may create too much dependence. Teach them how to stay alone in one room while you’re in another. If you’re having trouble, contact a reputable dog trainer like Applause Your Paws for help with your independence training. Dogs with severe cases of anxiety may need help from their veterinarian.

Miami Dog Walkers and Runners to the Rescue!

As caring animal lovers, we want your dogs to feel comfortable when you leave home. We’re happy that we can be of service to dogs who would otherwise stay home alone all day. You can get your dog much-needed exercise and play to brighten their day by hiring one of our professional dog walkers.

Dog Walking and Running Services

  • Our dog walks start at 25 minutes a day and are completely customizable to your dog’s specific needs. For example, it costs just $22 for 25 minutes of fun, relief, and exploration. You can schedule your dog walker a couple of times a week to uplift your pup’s spirits and gives them the movement, exercise, companionship, and relief they need.
  • Running is the great exercise for energetic breeds (we have a couple Catahoulas, Labs, Goldendoodles and Pointers in mind!). While many dogs enjoy a nice walk, some get a bigger kick out of our “Fit Pups” option, which involves our dog walkers riding their bikes with one of your pups for a good 20 to 30 minutes, depending on what your dog likes. We have a few clients who live by this, especially working breeds, those who go on long runs with their parents, and those with behavior issues.

Please contact us to get your dog’s exercise routine off the ground at 305.794.3733 or at info@equipawspetservices.com. We look forward to giving your pets exactly what they need to live fit, healthy, and happy lives!

Ty: A Success Story about Dog Anxiety

dog anxiety, dog walker, runner, pet sitting, the Roads, Coral Gables, Brickell, Coconut Grove

Solutions for Dog Anxiety and Pet Mental Health

Did you know that March is Polite Pets Month in Australia?  This March, Polite Pets Month is focusing on pet mental health, including anxiety issues.  As the mommy of Ty, a 13 year old mix breed rescue who suffers from a severe combination of fear of thunder as well as separation anxiety, Pet Sitter Beccie and her mother have quite a bit of experience with dog anxiety.

Ty’s Story: His Dog Anxiety Came on Progressively

Beccie first noticed Ty would tremble during storms and pace around when he was about 7 years old.  He also began to drool excessively while pacing, try to squeeze himself into nooks and crannies, sometimes moving furniture in the process. It eventually got to the point where he ripped pieces of door frame off of the wall, and even ate through a door, harming the pads on his paws and losing a tooth.  He also tried to scratch his way out of a crate while being boarded and again injured himself.  Beccie and her mom were beside themselves.  “On a scale from one to ten, Ty is an 11,” said Ty’s vet.

Holistic Therapies and Supplements for Dog Anxiety

They tried everything before giving in to the idea of conventional medications.  They got Ty a Thunder Shirt, they left on NPR or classical music during the day while they were gone, they closed the blinds in the house, they left doors open, tried to make him a little box where he would feel “safe” inside, put Bach Flower remedies in his water, and even got a pheromone diffuser for strategic places in the house where he was prone to go for comfort.

While these medications work for other pups, any number of combinations of these things were tried at once  yet nothing quite did the trick. It was such a painstaking process that Beccie’s mom would joke, “I think I’m the one that needs to be on medication at this point!”

Conventional Medications for Anxiety Worked for Ty

Ty is on three different kinds of medication now during the rainy months; last year he did not have any incidents- a huge relief for everyone.  He will be adding Zylkene to his regimen this coming rainy season — a supplement that is reported to help with behavioral issues.  Beccie and her mom hope that this supplement works for Ty and that they can move towards a more holistic route, as the use of heavy medication has caused Ty’s liver enzymes to go up.

We know lots of doggies who have a similar fear of thunder or fireworks, or who suffer from separation anxiety.  While these are certainly not the only problems that can afflict pets, they are some of the more common anxieties that can plague them and cause behavioral issues.  No one likes to see their pet/s suffer, so it’s important to be attentive to possible signs that there may be an issue.

Does Your Dog Suffer from Anxiety?

Many of the behavioral issues that come about as a result of these anxieties can be extremely destructive to the pet parent’s home as well (as in Ty’s case), so nipping any issues in the bud is crucial on all levels.  Ty’s case is extreme, and many of the remedies Beccie and her mom tried prior to medication have, luckily, worked well for other pets and pet parents we know.

Talk to your vet about possible avenues to pursue if you suspect your dog or cat has an issue with their mental health.  There are many natural and holistic treatments that work very well, and it is beneficial to do your homework on these treatments before jumping into conventional medication.  Have a success story you’d like to share with us?  How have you dealt with your pet’s mental health?