Preparing Your Dog For Back-To-School
Back-To-School is a time of change for everyone in the family—even your dog! For the last year and a half, most of us have spent more time at home, and now things are shifting back to a (semi)normal routine. Your children will most likely welcome this fresh start, and jump into the new schedule without a hitch—but how do you prep a fur baby for longer hours home alone? Here are some tips to make the transition a smooth one:
- Start your transition 2 weeks before school begins. If your family has teachers in it, then your dog has gotten used to snuggles and fun all summer long. In order to reduce separation anxiety and depression, start to gradually leave your home for longer time periods during the day. This will help they become less anxious that you’ll be gone for up to 8 hours at a time.
- Surprise them with new toys! Make the transition positive by providing them with a new toy (or a basket of new toys if they’re spoiled!) to help occupy time while you’re gone. Hyperactive and intelligent breeds become destructive when they’re bored, so the more time you can fill, the better!
- Hide treats around your home. This is a fun one! Place treats in specific areas of your home for your dog to happen upon during the day. It will be a welcome surprise to them while you’re away. We suggest keeping the treats small. If your dog struggles with weight management, try to keep these little surprises to a maximum of 3 per day.
- Exercise your dog early in the day. This has an added benefit for you as an owner, too! Taking your pup for a morning stroll before the rest of your family rises is a great way to bond with your dog and jump-start your metabolism in the morning. It will also help them get out some energy so you don’t come home to any ripped upholstery or chewed shoes!
- Determine bathroom breaks. If your dog has been out to potty more frequently while you’re home, you need to set them up for success while you’re gone. This can mean slowly shifting their breaks to help them stay in longer, or hiring a dog walker to stop by midday so they can go.
We know that back-to-school also means more evenings at ball practice, dance lessons, and other extracurricular activities, so remember to give your dog some much-deserved attention when your family is home this season! We hope these tips ensure everyone in your home is happy and well cared for during this time.
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