Sometimes back to school routine changes can bring on behaviors that leave pet owners scratching their heads. Previously well-behaved pets can begin to urinate or defecate inside, begin destructive chewing on items previously untouched, scratching excessively at the back door, whining incessantly, or howling as though at the moon. These can be signs of separation anxiety or could indicate a serious medical condition. What is a pet owner to do?

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. In this case, the end of summer freedom. With pet families spending so much time focusing on getting kids back in school, your exceptionally well-behaved dog or cat may find themselves with lots of extra time on their paws. Below are tips to keep bored pets from becoming poorly behaved pets.

  • RULE OUT ILLNESS: Bring your fur baby into the Northside Animal Clinic for a checkup to ensure there are no medical issues that could be causing these new behaviors. Some illnesses like urinary tract infection or bladder stones can be diagnosed and treated, which would allow symptoms to subside.
  • GRADUAL ALONE TIME: Make sure you gradually give your pet more alone time with treats at the beginning and the end for good behavior.
  • EXERCISE: Every pet should be getting exercise morning and evening. This will help them be tired during the time you are gone and less likely to be looking for things to occupy them. Sites like and have lots of tips for exercising both cats and dogs.
  • DOGGY DAY CARE: Consider bringing your dog to the Northside Animal Clinic for doggy day care a day or two each week. This gives your pet something to look forward to and June bug loves new friends.
  • SELF-ENTERTAINMENT: Sometimes new toys, especially those that provide food, can keep pets busy and active. We are not suggesting additional treats, but rather their daily food ration from the toy. has lots of choices, simply search for dog food toys or cat food toys.
  • MEDICATION: If none of these tips seem to work, call our office and discuss the issue with a doctor. Perhaps there is medication that could help your pet with separation issues.

We would love to hear feedback if you have found things that help your pet. Email us or visit to let us know. Good luck with your pet’s back to school transition!

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