How to Adjust Your Pets to a Back To School Schedule

dog back to school

With the hustle and bustle of going back to school, have you noticed your dog behaving strangely, acting listless or disinterested? The chaos, excitement, and crunch of back to school can sometimes leave your dogs in the dust. Transitioning from a summer with kids and parents in the home to long days alone can be rougher on your dog than you might think.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to make sure the days are easier for your beloved dog as they adjust to people being out of the home. These tools can help combat separation anxiety or depression in dogs while getting them back into the swing of daily life in the fall and winter.

Adjusting To The Fall

Summer is a busy time for families, but for animals it’s usually the most time they can spend with their beloved owners. Kids are home during the day and families spend more time together taking trips or doing things around the house. Pets get as used to this routine as the kids do.

While most humans are leaving one form of socialization for another, pets typically are left to their own devices at home. This can equal long hours alone. Helping prepare your pets by giving them new routines will help adjust them to less attention and time.

These steps can help both sides adjust while ensuring the school and work days go smoothly for all parties:

  1. Daily Exercise – One of the best things to do with your pet in the morning is exercise. Getting them worn out before and after you’re gone for the day lets them sleep the day away or relax without being anxious or agitated that they are home alone. Walking with them or exercising with them when you are home creates value for both you and your pet.
  2. Don’t Make a Show of It – Dogs can sense emotions. When you and the family turn the morning and the afternoon into a show of leaving and coming home, pets will become more focused on those times and be anxious until they arrive. This can create barking or restlessness manifesting in the form of destructive behavior. If you leave and come home with normal behavior, light petting, and a casual nature, you prove to your pet that this is just routine and that everything is fine.
  3. Provide Stimulation at Home – Pets can become bored, just like people. Giving them stimulation helps keep them focused while providing something to pass the time. For example, you can leave on talk radio or light TV which will get them used to hearing other voices. However, make sure to avoid loud or boisterous forms of entertainment which can scare your pet. Additionally, we recommend leaving toys or puzzles for your pet which can occupy them for long periods of time.
  4. Consider Outside Alternatives – Whether it be dog walkers, doggie day care, or a friend stopping by, breaking up the day can be a huge tool for you and your pet. Socializing with other pets is always good training for your dog and can help pass the days quicker than ever
  5. Practice Practice Practice – Starting off the first day of school with no preparation can be jarring for your pet. Practicing these steps and leaving them alone periodically in the summer will ease them into the full time transition.

If you need more information about how to adjust for the fall or want to inquire about our doggie day care services please contact us at Riverside Drive Animal Care Center today!