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Ask Dr. Diane: Back to School Dog Depression

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dog-childMy dog lives indoors, and I’m worried about her behavior when school starts. Last year she seemed very sad after the school year began and our kids, ages 8 and 10, went back to school. Is there anything I can do to make her happier with the schedule change? I am home with her but she misses the kids!

Your dog is so lucky to have you at home with her while the kids are at school. Pay extra attention to her, and spend some extra time talking to her and playing with her. Take her for walks and make an effort to have special play times with her. If the weather is cool and you are able, take her on errands with you so that she feels even more “special.” Add variety to her day, and make her feel genuinely enjoyed and appreciated.

She is truly lucky to have you as a Mom – so many animals are “latch-key” and relegated to loneliness and boredom throughout a long day. You two can genuinely appreciate and enjoy one another and spend quality time with each other.


Dr. Pomerance is an animal behavior specialist and an expert on topics such as deciding which puppy is best for your family, how to pick out a rescue, and on healing from the loss of a pet.

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