Back to School Anxiety

This fall, we may see all schools open and the return to school a near normal experience.

Children have been home not just for the summer, but also for much of the year due to the pandemic. When children return to school, it can be stressful for your dog. The child is busy with classes, classmates and all the school activities. While the dog is home and missing the child. Some dogs will demonstrate signs of depression, such as a loss of appetite, feeling sad and showing little to no interest in normal activities.

Pet Parent Question:

“Our dog is relatively new to our family and is very attached to both of my children. What are some things I can do to support my dog when my children return to school?”


You can provide some new toys for your dog like treat balls or puzzle toys to keep their mind and body busy. One or two whole or half days in a well-supervised doggie daycare could be helpful. If possible, you can take your dog on walks. Most of all, it is important for the child to spend quality time with their dog when returning home from school. Since school activities and being with friends may now be priorities, it’s even more important for the child to have quality time with their dog.

Donna Chicone is an award-winning author, TEDx speaker and advocate for dogs. She lives in Woodbury. You might find her engaged in pet-assisted therapy work.