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Dogs Suffer Back to School Blues Too

Update Date: Aug 29, 2014 01:58 PM EDT

The end of summer is a tragedy for students who dread going back to school. While depression is a common emotion in kids and young adults heading back to school, new research reveals that dogs also feel the "back to school blues".

Lead researcher Dr. Nick Dodman of Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts and his team found that many dogs find some way to lash out and misbehave as summer ends and fall begins because they feel abandoned by their owners.

Dodman predicts that a large proportion of the 80 million dogs in the US suffer separation anxiety. This distress can then translate into barking, howling and whining when their owners are gone. Some dogs even go as far as scratching doors, damaging blinds, shredding curtains or refusing food to cope with their anxiety.

'There will be an exuberant greeting when you do come home, one that can last several minutes and be completely crazy, then the dog will run to the food bowl,' Dodman told the Daily Mail.

Furthermore, dogs are more sensitive to noise when feeling distress. Researchers found that nearly half of anxious dogs suffered noise phobias, and panic when left at home alone.  To reduce separation anxiety, researchers recommend that owners keep dogs preoccupied with toys and treats when children return to school.

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