Conquering the back to school blues
Children and Chihuahuas:
Chihuahuas can make wonderful pets for the whole family. It’s back to school time again, and while you may be glad to have the children out of the house and out of your hair, your Chihuahua (s) may not be so happy. After having months of constant playtime he may get upset when his best buddies suddenly disappear during the day.
Most dogs may whine and eagerly wait at the front door for their return for awhile, but eventually, they adjust and come to realize that they will come back home later in the day. But for some may not be able to cope and can develop what’s known as separation anxiety.
Nearly 20 percent of the nation’s 80 million dogs have separation anxiety, said Dr. Nick Dodman of Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts.
Separation Anxiety is distressing for the owner as well as the dog:
Separation anxiety can manifest itself in many ways. Whining and whimpering is one. For Chihuahuas it’s more barking than whining. Your Chihuahua may become destructive or develop other unwanted behaviors.
What you can do:
- Make your leaving a happy time with plenty of toys and treats
- Have a crate or a place in your home where your Chihuahua feels safe
- Start the new routine before school starts
- Don’t encourage bad behavior with sympathy or baby talk
- If it doesn’t improve, talk to your veterinarian or hire an experienced animal behaviorist
Also, if it is possible, take your Chi with you to drop your children off at school or when you walk to the bus stop. This allows a bit more time with them and he isn’t suddenly left alone.
If your Chihuahua has serious separation anxiety, consider a pet sitter or dog walkers or even a doggie daycare