I don’t know about others but there is something about the first of September that creates in me this feeling of “a new start”, “something new just around the corner”. I guess it’s just conditioning from all of those years of anticipating the new school year, new school clothes, new friends, new teachers, etc. After all it wasn’t that long ago was it? ahem..
We aren’t the only ones experiencing these feelings. If we’re feeling it, you know our pets are. For those families with children still at home the changes can be profound. If we can get down on their level for a few observations; for days now, there has been a frenzy of last minute trips which may have involved pet-sitters or kenneling as families scrambled to get in those last minute vacation days or promised fun times. New boxes and bags have been coming home with interesting smelling items as families have been stocking up on school suppies, clothing, gear and packed lunch treats. There have been more conversations around the family gathering places and perhaps a more organized or disorganized (depending upon the family) evening mealtime hour with school sports and club schedules beginning to appear on family schedules. Out come the dreaded alarm clocks that, perhaps, silent for weeks now, have been ringing at “o-bright thirty” once again. Now there is a new breakfast time for everyone including the pets which means new potty time, walk time, etc. Lots of early morning conversation, some of it quite animated as everyone rushes around to meet the bus schedule, head off with friends or pile into the car for the morning commute. Then…..silence.
Again, the silence as our pets wait patiently for their families to arrive back home again to give them a distracted pat on the head as they regroup and organize their agenda.
Pets may begin exhibiting signs of transition anxiety just as we humans do when moving from one activity, change of season or life change to another. Perhaps they will revert to inappropriate potty places and times, tummy upset, barking or destructive behaviors and overly needy behavior as they try to understand and internalize all of the changes to their routines. Many pets will also be experiencing separation anxiety once again as their owners head back to school or their fall schedules.
We pet owners need to keep this in mind even if we don’t have children in our homes. This particular change of season, summer to fall, seems to be filled with anticipation and anxiety and our pets are feeling it. Spend a little extra time with your pet, maybe take him along on a work, school or extra-curricular outing and try to understand that pets thrive on routine, they will adjust to this new one but it may take some time, patience and understanding.