It is Back to School time! For your dog this means sudden routine changes, a reduction in opportunities for playtime with people, and being at home alone more often than during the Summer Holiday. Be sure to include your pet in planning your new busy schedule, keeping ‘routine’ in mind, so he/she can become familiar with the new flow of the home as smoothly as possible.
The summer break allowed for a variety of impromptu playtime activities, outings, and most importantly additional attention. During the summer break (as well as shorter holiday breaks) you dog will have enjoyed having more stimulation and may not remember how different the routine has been during the school year. Throughout the summer break the family dog has been more ‘’part’’ of the daily routine than during the school year.
Back to School Plan For Stay At Home Dogs
If your schedule will take most family members away from home for most of the day there are a few ideas to improve your dog’s adjustment to the change. If you can incorporate two or three ideas on a regular basis (so your dog knows what to expect) you can reduce the stress of change and uncertainty that may arise from sudden changes in household routine.
- Arrange for someone (family or friends) to drop in and take the dog outside for 15 minutes in the middle of the day.
- If you have a landline, and voice message unit, you can call home and talk to your dog. The sound of your voice may calm her/him. NOTE: Practice this while someone is home to observe your dog’s reaction.
- Leave a few of your dog’s favorite toys available.
- Put your dog on your calendar. Does she/he have appointments or service assignments?
- Consider the possibility of taking your dog with you to work (for a day).
- Include your dog when planning weekend, evening, and holiday activities.
Explore your dog's routine and strive to make as few changes as possible. Remember to include as many ”people” oriented activities as possible.
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