It’s August and we know what that means! A new school year is just around the corner and for families with kids and pets, that means a change of routine. Whether you’re getting ready to send kids back to school or you’re sending a kid off to college, this time of year can be filled with a flurry of activity as your family moves from the relaxed pace of summer to the busier pace of fall. While you’re busy getting things ready for a change of season, you may not realize that your pet is feeling the change as well. Believe it or not, our pets can sense when things are changing in our homes and when their world goes from having a house full of people every day to an empty and quiet house, they can be susceptible to feeling a little blue. We’d like to offer some tips on how to help your pet through this time and make the change a little easier for them.
BEAT THE BLUES
If your household is getting ready for back to school, you may be noticing that your dog is showing more anxiety such as barking, pawing at doors and gates to get out, chewing on things or being overly excited when you come home. If you have noticed any or all of these behaviors in your dog, then it’s likely he is feeling the transition in your home. As you prepare your kids for the changes, here are some things you can do for your dog:
- Morning Exercise: Since our dogs need exercise, as do we, try implementing a morning walk into your dog’s daily routine. You may find that you need to get up a little earlier, but look at it this way, you are benefitting from the extra activity as well. Taking your dog for a morning walk helps him burn off energy and will encourage him to settle down and nap once everyone leaves the house. Instead of being lonely all day, he can rest and be ready to greet everyone in the afternoon.
- Offer a new toy: Consider getting a new toy for your dog that he only plays with when he’s alone. A great option is a KONG toy. KONG toys are durable, interactive toys that can relieve boredom in your dog. Some of them even allow you to hide treats in them, which will keep him busy through the day as he works to access the treat inside.
- Say a quick bye-bye: When it’s time to go, don’t drag out the good-bye, just give your pet a quick pat on the head and head out. If you don’t make a big deal of it, he likely won’t either.
- Doggie Daycare: Doggie daycare is always a great option as well. Most kennels offer full and half-day options as well as part-time options, meaning daycare doesn’t have to be every day. Even once or twice a week can add variety to the schedule and that can make a huge difference for your dog. Here at Hillrose Pet Resort, we offer all of those options plus drop-in daycare; this is a great option if you need to take some time to run errands but don’t want to leave your dog at home alone.
If you feel your pet is struggling with the back-to-school transition, contact us. We’d be happy to discuss our options with you or you can schedule a tour of our facility. Remember, it’s not just kids that get the back-to-school blues; our pets do too!