The summer heat is just starting to subdue, the televisions are full of back to school commercials, and the kids’ grumpy demeanor is telling you they’ve noticed summer is almost over. Soon they’ll be donning backpacks and heading back to class. Back to school season is a hectic time. Our pets, especially our dogs, have spent the summer bonding with the kids and have most likely developed the summer routine.
As the family prepares for back to school, don’t forget your dogs! The change of routine can be difficult for dogs who have become accustomed to day-long human presence. Dogs are creatures of habit and need structure to manage their habits. The few weeks before August—when school starts—is a great time to brush up on training and ease the family into a healthy schedule.
This article will show you five tips to get the household ready for back to school!
Set the Schedule
Working with your children is a great way to teach some responsibility and make sure that the dog is taken care of. Have a discussion about a daily routine that involves the doggie. The dog’s schedule will need walking, feeding, toileting, and trips to the dog park for socialization. If you have a young pup, you might consider asking someone to stop by your house for a bathroom break to avoid accidents.
Run like the Wind
Dogs love walks, and dog trainers agree, ‘a tired dog is a happy dog.’ Regular walking provides not only exercise but an opportunity to explore the world with their sniffers. As part of the schedule, a brisk morning can help relieve any owner separation anxiety your pup may experience for the first few weeks after the summer.
Toys for the Mind
Dogs are intelligent animals and can be very curious and sometimes destructive when they are bored, especially puppies still getting used to house training. A good preventative measure against this is giving them puzzle solving toys or KONG dog chews. A toy that delivers a treat which also is a brain teaser can help your dog stay preoccupied. KONG chews can be filled with peanut butter and will entertain and tend to your dog’s oral care. During the first week, you can also hide treats for your dog to find around the house. This will help your dog associate this new alone time as positive.
The Dog is a Priority
Encourage your kids to come home right away after school. If your kids are old enough to handle it, make sure they understand the dog needs to go out as soon as they get back.
Make it Fun
For everyone on board to get through the bustling back to school transition, make the changeover fun. Plan after school activities enjoyable for the whole family. Take the family on a dog-friendly hiking trail. Or plan a family soccer game in the backyard. Your kids can even practice reading to the dog. This positive association will help the whole household adjust to going back to school!