After spending months of long summer days with their pint-sized (or bigger!) best friends, dogs—and even cats—can get depressed. This might even be more true for companions of kids who have gone off to college.
Annd remember, if you are upset about a child’s departure—either for the day or for the semester—your pet will pick up on your feelings, too.
So, if you are noticing some recent-onset lethargy (or hyperactivity) in your pet, or even some vocalizing and mopey-ness, you might need to pay a little extra attention to your heartbroken furry friend. There are specific things you can do as well.
Exercise seems to be a good bet. As with people, exercise can stimulate endorphin release, and this can help improve mood.
Another step to take might be to provide your pet with an article of the child’s clothing, giving the animal a sense of comfort with a familiar scent.
(Similarly, clients whose pets need to stay at Hope Veterinary Specialists overnight often leave tee shirts or other items with them so they are surrounded by a familiar scent. This is fine with us, as long as you understand that with our huge laundry operation, should we need to wash your item, you may not ever see it again…)
As with so many other things, however, the answer to the problem is usually time. Give your dog or cat a bit to adjust to the new situation, and he or she will be just fine—and back to his or her self in no time!
Dog reading image from http://www.theplayfulpup.com/2010/07/free-books-for-dog-owners-on-amazon.html)