As you and your family prepare for the coming school year, your dog will be making preparations all his own. You and the kids have been home all summer so your dog has had extra company. However, as back to school comes around in August, your dog will have to get used to having an empty house all to herself again. This can be a difficult adjustment for your dog as she feels lonely with all the empty free time she now has to herself. There are a few things you can do in order to help your dog adjust easier to the lack of family in the home.
Go Home at Lunch
With you at work all day and your kids at school, that’s a minimum of 9 hours that your dog will be alone thanks to back to school. If you’re worried about your dog becoming mischievous in his loneliness, consider going home at lunch to have a little playtime or walk. Depending on how far your workplace is from home, this may not be doable, but it’s worth considering if your work is close to home.
Go for Morning and Afternoon Walks
Going for a walk is a great way to help most dogs through most situations. If you’re worried that your dog will have too much energy from sleeping throughout the night and then through all day until your kids get back from school, consider making a long morning walk part of your schedule. A simple 20-30 minute walk in the morning and then once you get home can do wonders for the health of your dog. It can also help her settle in better once you leave.
Consider Doggie Daycare or Pet Sitters
Perhaps you live too far away from that work that you can’t come home for back to school. Perhaps you also have a very physically demanding job and you’re not sure you have the time and energy to add multiple long walks to your day. Instead of doing these things during back to school, you may want to consider enrolling your dog into doggie daycare where he will be able to play with other dogs while you’re at school and work. You can do this once a week or every day of the week depending on your budget. You may also look into having a pet sitter visit once or twice throughout the day to play with your dog and/or take him for a walk. This can help ease anxiety of your pet being home alone all day, but only if your dog is social enough to enjoy the company of others.
Avoid Ignoring Your Dog
With the back to school schedule coming back into place, it can be hard to adjust to the demanding needs of homework, kids, and work energy. You may be struggling to provide your dog with the attention she needs because of everything piling back on. However, be careful that you don’t forget about your dog as exhaustion sets in. Make sure to maintain one-on-one time, walks, and appropriate attention so your dog doesn’t feel ignored, neglected, or forgotten as this may cause some troubling behaviors.