Dogs are pack animals. When members of their pack, like kids- some of whom can play an alpha or dominant role- are suddenly gone for long periods of time, it's hard on them.
"Children being there, that are very close or very attached with the family dog, provide some of that alpha dog mentality," says Dr. Dan Deciechi, of Fohey Veterinary in Clio, "And then they go away to school, all of the sudden, the dog does have a feeling of concern and abandonment."
Dr. Deciechi says there are definite signs a dog is suffering anxiety, "They can start to chew on themselves very commonly, especially the front forearms and front feet is a nervous twitch, a nervous habit. They can not eat or drink, when they're gone and go on a bit of a hunger strike, waiting for the owner to return."
Dogs can also become destructive, simply because they miss the companionship- which often comes with play and activity.
That is why, Deciechi says, you have to make sure your pet gets exercise when kids head back to school , "Increasing the exercise the week before and during, when you do get home to burn those calories and reassert that dog and owner relationship."
You can also ease the loneliness, anxiety and boredom, by leaving them with some toys that really challenge their brains.