Back to School Blues

Going from busy summer activities and a household full of children to spend the day alone, wondering when their parents will ever come home. It can be confusing and stressful for your four-legged friends and may also even cause separation anxiety. Dogs especially are creatures of habits and it’s important to ease them into the new schedule.

Here are a few tips to help your pet during back to school.

Transition time. About a week before the kids return to school, desensitizing your dog with anxiety-producing cues, such as leaving your dog inside early in the morning to simulate school time and taking out lunchboxes and school bags to get them use to having them around again.

Set a routine and responsibilities. Establishing a routine your pet can depend on will helps them deal with the changes. Feedings, walks, and play times at approximately the same time everyday.

Turn on some tunes. During the summer, the house is full people talking and background noises. Leaving music or the television on when your dog is left alone can be soothing for any separation anxiety.

Enrich their home environment. Your pet can get bored being home alone every day.

  • Rotate through a wide selection of interactive toys and food puzzles every day.
  • In the mornings, assemble a little scavenger hunt with your pet’s favourite treats.
  • Save a new special toy for your pet to discover while you are away.

Doggy daycare. Consider socializing your dog couple times a week at a dog kennel. Releasing some energy and socializing amongst other dogs, not only keep your puppy active and happy but also makes for a tired and cuddly puppy at night!

Quality time. Re-connecting with your four-legged friend at the end of a long work week is very important. Long walks at the park, playing at home, weekend hikes, regular grooming; these are just a few quality time activities you could do with your pet.

Patience and consistency are key to getting back into regular routine. Consider these tips for back to school season because we can forget about our furry friends.

Don’t know what anxiety looks like in pets? Visit our blog “Are you giving your dog anxiety?” for more information about anxiety and how to help your pet get through these last few weeks of summer.

Written by Monica Blanchard, RVT