The end of summer is upon us. Children around the country are heading back to school. Parents may be grateful to regain some ‘me time’, but they will miss the pitter-patter of little feet. Do you know who else will miss your children? Your dog. Dogs enjoy playing with children during the summer. When children head back to school, dogs may suffer from loneliness, depression, and separation anxiety. But there are steps you can take to ensure a smooth back-to-school transition for dogs.
How Does the Back-to-School Season Affect Dogs’ Routines?
Back-to-school season is tough on dogs. Dogs get used to having someone to play with every day. Once school starts, they may have to stay home alone for extended periods.
When dogs are left alone, they may feel anxious and depressed. Dogs show anxiety and depression differently. They may:
- Have a sad expression
- Display aggressive behavior
- Refrain from eating and sleeping
- Avoid you
- Act fatigued
- Exhibit destructive behavior
- Whimper, tremble, or whine
- Spontaneously urinate or defecate
- Pace aimlessly
If your furry friend exhibits these behaviors, you must facilitate a smooth back-to-school transition for dogs.
How to Facilitate a Smooth Back-to-School Transition for Your Dog
Create a Consistent Routine: Dogs take comfort in a consistent routine. Schedule regular walks, playtimes, and feedings. He or she will look forward to these bonding moments. They will feel better knowing they will be part of their day.
Prevent Separation Anxiety: Your dog may suffer from separation anxiety when your child is away from home. You can prevent separation anxiety by avoiding long goodbyes, creating a consistent schedule, and making time to play with your dog.
Engage in Interactive Activities: Interactive activities will promote bonding between you and your dog. They will reduce anxiety and depression. Puzzle toys, treat dispensing toys and indoor games are recommended interactive activity examples.
Reinforce Training and Commands: Training activities will also help you bond with your dog. Dogs will see them as a form of bonding. It will also prevent them from acting out when they feel anxious and depressed. Essential commands like sit, down, stay, come, and no, will improve your dog’s behavior.
Help Dogs Unwind and Relax: Relaxation techniques can lower stress levels and help dogs relax. Consider massaging your dog or playing calming music. In addition to reducing stress, these techniques also minimize pain, improve circulation, aid with healing, and promote bonding.
Prepare for Cooler Weather: Outdoor walks and backyard adventures are perfect for keeping dogs happy and active. They promote physical activity and improve mental health. But you must take measures to prepare your dog for cooler weather both inside and outside the home. Put them in a sweater and protect their paws for outdoor trips. Put a cozy blanket in their bed. Become familiar with signs of hypothermia to ensure your dog stays healthy.
Maintain a Positive Atmosphere: Maintain a positive atmosphere in the home by making departures and returns a positive experience. Avoid long goodbyes. Greet your dog warmly when you return home. Positively enforce their good behavior to let them know they are loved and appreciated.
K9U Can Help You Make a Smooth Back to School Transition for Pups
K9U offers various services that can help you make a smooth back-to-school transition for dogs. You can enroll them in our Doggie Daycare so they can interact with other dogs in our 29,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor play areas. You can put them in our Training Classes to minimize unwanted behavior. Young dogs can enjoy our Puppy Parties and Puppy Play classes.
Back to school can be rough on dogs. Fun activities, a positive environment, and relaxation techniques will prevent the anxiety that stems from missing your little one. K9U’s services will also help them maintain optimal mental health.
Contact us to learn more about what we have to offer.