Our new puppy Gentry has been home with us for about three weeks now, and even though he wasn't with us for the whole summer break, now that my girls have headed back to school, I can tell he is bummed. My two older dogs may be enjoying the extra hours of peace and quiet, but the puppy definitely is not.

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My cute little Gentry is now pestering my other dogs more, naughty chewing is occurring more, we had an unfortunate puppy vs. fresh paint episode the other day because he was bored, and it's well past time to nip this crazy in the bud. What can I do?


Can Pets Suffer From Back to School Blues?

Winnebago County Animal Services in Rockford recently shared an article that gave me a bit of an 'ah ha' moment. It was about how pets often suffer 'Back to School Blues' when their fun-filled summer days with family are quickly replaced with hours of boring alone time. Perhaps Gentry's behavior is less about typical 'naughty' puppy things and more about missing the girls who spent the last few weeks playing with him?

Signs Your Pet is Suffering From Back to School Blues

If you notice your pet is acting more anxious, lazy, destructive, and eating or drinking less throughout the day, there's a darn good chance the poor baby is depressed. To help get your pet through the tough back to school transition, experts say to:

  • Take them for a long walk or extensive playtime, then feed them a meal before you leave. This should tire the pup out, which means they will nap instead of tearing up your house while you're gone.
  • Buy some new toys for them to play with while you're away.
  • Establish a firm family routine that your pet can get used to. Waking, eating, and leaving at the same time every day will help your pet feel less anxious because they'll know what to expect.

LOOK: The least obedient dog breeds

LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

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