6 Ways to Beat Dog Separation Anxiety During Back-to-School Season
All the kids are headed back to school, mom and dad are getting back to their regular schedules at work, but what about the dog? The change in routine this time of year isn’t just an adjustment for the humans, but it can cause separation anxiety in your dog. Here are
6 ways you can help with your dog’s separation anxiety this back-to-school season:
- Acclimate them to more and more time home alone in their safe spot, whether that be their dog bed, a crate or other area. Instead of taking Fido with you on errands and to the beach, get him used to spending a few hours alone at a time.
- Get a dog walker! A full work day home alone is a long time for a dog to have to “hold it”, especially if they get used to being let out several times a day over the summer. There are plenty of wonderful dog walkers available, check out who is in your area and make sure they are reliable, bonded and insured.
- Provide them with puzzle toys and food enrichment toys which will provide them with mental stimulation during the day. This will keep their day from being so boring. There are many brands to choose from, and freezing them a special treat will help keep them busy longer.
- Get up early and take your dog for a walk or jog. Although you’ll have to skip the snooze button, this ensures Rex is well exercised and tired before you leave, and will help prevent your dog from getting overly excited when you come home.
- If your dog is the type to enjoy it, doggy daycare could be a good option! The kids are going back to school, why not send Rover to “school” too? He won’t have to be alone during the day, he can play with his friends and come home tired. Just be sure to do your research on doggy daycare locations near you and make sure you feel comfortable with their policies.
- Did you know that Spot can be an excellent study buddy? Especially for kids learning how to read, your family dog can be a non-judgmental pal to practice reading aloud to. Who doesn’t like snuggling with their dog and a good book after a long day at school or work?
In addition to the above suggestions, it can help to get your dog used to the “cues” that you are leaving. Does he now associate the sound of you picking up the car keys with him going with you for a ride? Does tying your shoes mean that you are all going on a walk? Take the time to desensitize him to these triggers by picking up and putting down your keys several times a day, or sitting down and putting on your shoes, wearing them around the house and then taking them off. It will make these cues that you are all going some where less predictable, and there for less stressful for your dog when you leave without them!
We wish you all a happy and successful school year!