As kids across America go back to school or head off to college, bringing to an end weeks of summer fun and increased activity in the home, it’s not only parents who suffer from empty nest syndrome; it can badly affect family pets too.
“Dogs and cats that enjoy human interaction and affection can become psychologically unglued — especially if their best human friend in the household happens to be one of the kids and suddenly that person ‘disappears’ and goes off to college. It definitely leaves a void in the pet’s lifestyle,” explained Dodman. “The same applies when kids go back to school and suddenly their lives are so filled with activities that they no longer have the same amount of time for fun that includes the family pet.”
“So he came downstairs looking for company and a new place to sleep. The husband had an issue with him sleeping in the master bedroom and locked him out. So the dog sat on the landing every night and cried. By now he was an older dog and the lifestyle change really upset him,” explained Dodman, who was able to rectify the situation with a variety of suggestions, which the family duly followed.
“Cats don’t display their feelings as outwardly as dogs do,” added Dodman. “So often their anxiety and depression flies under the radar and their people don’t really notice. But it can be an anxious time for a cat too.”
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