Summer is coming to a close and back to school pictures are being snapped by the hundreds. Days spent lounging in bed, on vacation, and playing with friends are traded for early mornings and classrooms. A house bustling with activity all day long turns quiet for long hours of the day. And this can leave your dog feeling confused and lonely. You may even notice a change in appetite and behavior. But, don’t despair! There are things you can do to help them through this transition.
1. Give them exercise
When back to school time hits, your dogs will mostly feel bored. This is especially true if your children played with them a lot. Combat the boredom with exercise. Try to fit in a little exercise in the morning, or anytime you can throughout the day. The more exercise the better. A tired dog is a sleepy and not bored dog.
2. Let them be a part of the school shuffle
Teach your dogs the word “school” by using it simply and frequently around them. Then when the big first day of school comes, include your pets. Bring them to the bus stop or let them ride in the car for drop off. Use cue words like “time for school,” ”the bus is coming,” or “let’s drop off/pick up the kids.” Your dogs will quickly pick up on the cues and it will help to de-stress the situation.
3. Keep them occupied
Buy them a few new toys, or even better a new treat puzzle. These will keep them busy throughout the day and their mind off the absence of their favorite companions. Also, hire a dog walker (of course, we recommend Lucy’s Pet Care!) to come over and give them a walk, playtime and some company.
4. Make them special treats
Make your dogs feel special by making them their own dog treats. It doesn’t haven’t to be hard either, all you need to do is slice up an apple into ⅛” bites on a cookie sheet. Then bake at 250° for about an hour. Or, you can go all out and bake them any of these delicious homemade dog treats.
5. Comfort them with scent
Another easy way to soothe your dogs while the kids are away is to put an old shirt of theirs in your dogs bed. Their noses are very sensitive and pulling an old t-shirt from the back of their drawer helps. The scent will comfort them while they nap.
Children and pets are often the best of friends. That’s why our dogs feel sad when they are left all alone when school starts. But with a little TLC and consideration, they’ll be just fine. Soon they will realize that even though the kids leave every morning, they come back every afternoon too.