Going Off to College without Your Best Friend

Your son or daughter has left for college, and your dog isn’t happy about their absence. He or she goes to their room and whines at the door, or takes the first opportunity to run in and lie on their bed.

You keep telling your pet that their best friend in the whole world will be back soon, winter break is just around the corner, but they don’t understand that. They react to your soothing voice and your attention, but have no idea what Christmas break is all about.

What can you do to make your pet a bit more assured that their friend is coming back and help avoid any separation anxiety?

Here are some suggestions on how to alleviate the situation.

  • When your son or daughter calls home, ask for them to call via Skype or FaceTime. This way your dog will not only hear their voice but can see them on the screen.
  • When your child arrives home make sure they have a treat or toy for your dog. You may have to buy it for them, but they can present it. Also, make sure they carve out some time to spend with their all-time best friend.
  • Play a video of a family vacation or other event where your pet can see their human friend.
  • Make sure that you, your husband and any other children make time to snuggle with your dog and keep him occupied. That can be through play, going on long walks, playing fetch, etc.

Remember that as a member of your family your pet has different levels of attachment to each family member. Make them feel special whether or not your college-age child is in town. Your pet needs this reassurance.

If you are a Pet Lovers Resort client, please inform us of any anxiety our pet is going through so that we can make sure to give them extra loving care to help ease that anxiety.

Your pet is part of your family, and we want to ease any emotional crisis they are having. Change is hard for everyone, including your dog. Please allow us to help your pet and your family get through this phase of your life.

If the dog will be completely alone during the day, consider doggie daycare to help the dog through his loneliness.

Pet Lovers Resort can be reached at 818-578-5664 or via our website. We also offer grooming services. We are conveniently located right off the 101 Freeway at 18416 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, CA 91356. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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