It’s that time of year when you’re busy buying school supplies and doing back-to-school shopping to get everyone ready. And it's easy to focus on your kids during this time, but don’t forget about your dog! Back-to-school time can be a tough transition for your dog as they go from long summer days of play with the kids to spending time alone in an empty house. So to help make the transition easier for your pup, here are 5 tips to get your dog prepared for back-to-school season.
Help stop boredom with enrichment toys, puzzles, and games
Gone are the hours of play in the sun with your kids to fill up your dog’s day. So to help curb boredom and any possible destructive behaviors, make sure to offer your dog toys, games, or puzzles to fill the time. It’s best to offer these toys as you’re leaving for the day to help distract your dog and reduce any emotional goodbyes.
Consider toys you can fill with peanut butter or other treats.
Make a game out of hiding treats around the house for your dog to discover.
Consider hiring a dog walker for midday potty breaks, walks, and playtime.
Plan extra exercise in the morning and evening
Since your dog will be spending more time alone, it’ll be important to build in exercise time for them in the morning and evening. It’ll be tempting to hit the snooze button when your alarm goes off, but don’t cut corners here. Behavior issues like chewing and potty accidents are often linked to boredom and excess energy.
Make a habit of giving your dog 20-30 minutes of vigorous exercise or play in the morning. Your dog can then use the day to rest up for when someone comes home from school or work. Give your dog the same play/walk exercise in the evening as well to help them sleep better at night.
Help your pet get used to the new routine
Whatever your new morning routine will look like, start getting up early to take them for a walk, show them how to play with or use their new toys when everyone is gone – whatever you need to do to mimic how it’s going to be when school starts.
Also, start trying to leave the house for short periods to help your dog be more prepared for spending time alone. Increase these practice periods by 30 minutes to help increase your dog’s tolerance for alone time.
Try out using background noise
During the summer months, your home was filled with the sounds of your kids playing. But back-to-school time means an emptier and quieter home. This could cause anxiety for some dogs, so consider using background noise to help. You can turn on the radio, TV, or music to see what works. There are even dog-specific noise machines you can try out. You just don’t want anything too fast or loud.
This may not work for all dogs but give it a try to see if it makes a difference for yours!
Consider doggy daycare
Maybe your schedule doesn’t allow for enough walking time in the morning or you’ve tried all of these tips and nothing is working or you just don’t want your dog to spend the day alone – so check out a doggy daycare near you!
If you’re in Miami, at Fit & Go Pets, we’ve got you covered! Our facilities feature indoor areas to relax and outdoor areas for both wet and dry play. We’ll make sure your dog gets enough playtime and rest time and is always supervised by our trained, qualified staff.
Let Fit & Go Pets be your dog's home away from home! You can find us at 711 NW 24th Street in Miami, Florida.