Watch Your Pet for ‘Empty-Nest Syndrome’

Watch Your Pet for Empty-Nest Syndrome

Back-to-school days have meaning for the household pet, too. Not because he or she is putting aside the remnants of summer holidays and getting set for the school year. No, it means the kids will be gone during the day for the next nine months.

As any pet owner knows, dogs have a special connection with their family. They react in a particular way when you are home and when you’re not. When everyone is gone during the day, some pets suffer from what might be called “empty-nest syndrome.”

You might recognize it when your pet starts peeing in the laundry or tearing up clothing or the living room furniture. They want attention and this is a sure way of getting it – but not in the way you or they would want it.

How can you alleviate this problem? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Leave an article of clothing that smells like you for the dog, like all old T-shirt.
  • Give him something new to play with right before you leave that will distract him while you are gone.
  • Don’t make a big deal about leaving or coming home. Just pet him and let him know that you miss him, too.
  • If the problem continues, let us know. An anti-anxiety medication might be the solution.

Source: Robert K.Fitzpatrick, DVM, Abri Animal Hospital, Cape May Court House, NJ. If you have a pet-related question, please use our contact page and select the category Ask The Vet.