When summer comes to a close there is a change that takes over our house. Tables pile up with new bookbags, school supplies, and new clothes. This is what happens when the kids go back to school.
A house bustling with activity all day long suddenly turns quiet for long hours of the day. Sadly, this can leave your dog feeling a little confused and a little lonely too. You may even notice a change in appetite and behavior. Thankfully, there are things you can do to help them through this transition.
How to Help Your Dog with Back to School Loneliness
- Let them be a part of the school shuffle – Our dogs love to be included with family activity. Teach your dog the word “school” by using it simply and frequently around them. Then when the big first day of school comes, include your pet. 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 dog will quickly pick up on the cues and it will help them get used to the new routine.
- Give them exercise – When back to school time hits, your dog 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.
- Keep them occupied – A busy mind keeps your dog from worrying. Buy them a few new toys or a new treat puzzle. These will keep them busy throughout the day and their mind off the absence of their favorite companions. Also, if you can, take a break and play fetch or take them to the dog park during the midday.
- Make them special treats – Make your dog 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°F for about an hour. Not only is it a healthy treat, it helps them realize that life is still good even when the kids are gone.
- Comfort them with scents – Sometimes no matter what we do, they still whine and miss their favorite little humans. Another easy way to soothe your dog while the kids are at school is with their scent. Try putting an old t-shirt of theirs in your dog’s bed. The scent will comfort them while they nap.
It is no secret that our 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. And if your dog STILL needs a little help to break up his day, give us a call. Gina’s Family Pet Sitting can take him for a walk, give him some play time, and give him some cuddles while the house is quiet and the kids are at school.