Back to School Stress
With summer drawing to a close and the kids back to school, you might find your dog is having a little trouble adjusting to the new schedule. If your dog got used to having you around a lot more during summer vacation, they might be a bit stressed out when you and the kids go back to work and school.
If you got a new puppy over the summer, you may find yourself worried about what to do with your puppy now that no one is home.
There are a few things you can do to ease this transition:
- Doggie daycare can be a great option a few days a week, especially for a new puppy. It allows them to socialize and play while you’re at work and they will be nice and tired when you get home.
- If daycare is not an option, hiring a dog walker or getting a friend or family member to check in on your dog halfway through the day gives the dog a break from being alone and a nice walk. For puppies, a break in the day is essential for a potty break, especially if they are crated.
- Establish the new routine with your dog. Wake up a bit earlier if needed to give them a good morning walk and leave them with a tasty treat like a stuffed Kong when you leave for work. Give your dog some exercise when you get home as well.
- If you notice your dog has become a bit more clingy over the summer, decrease the amount of attention you give them. Encourage them to be independent by spending time in a different room, away from you with a bone or some other activity. Give them love in the form of exercise and obedience which tires them out and calms the mind.
- If you notice severe separation anxiety (ex: crying and barking for long when left alone, destroying the house etc), you may need the help of a professional trainer. Work on leaving the dog for short amounts of time throughout the day so that your coming and going becomes routine. Always exercise the dog first and do not give them attention for about 15 minutes before you leave and after you return.
Most dogs are unaffected by changes in schedule, but for those that are, following the above tips along with help from a dog trainer if needed, can make the whole process easier.