Does your dog have the “back to school” blues? Yep, it can happen. While you may be rejoicing at the return of your children to school Fido may be in a funk!
If your dog has been reveling in the constant companionship of the kids this summer, consider for a moment what he may be feeling now. Confusion at the very least. Where did they go? What can you do about it?
Five Steps To Lessen The “Back To School Blues”
- 1.If your dog was walked in the summer months by your child, someone else in the family could begin to do this. They may miss the child but at least they won’t be missing that walk. A good long walk in the morning may help to replace the exercise that most dogs enjoy in the summer months just by trying to keep up with the kids. Those feel – good endorphins are released and do good things for both you and your dog. As Reese Witherspoon put it so nicely in Legally Blonde “Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t!” – Elle Woods. Consider hiring a dog walker. Look for one with references and check them thoroughly.
2.Find some interactive toys that your dog enjoys. The new Kong Wobbler is an excellent choice. It has been designed to deliver a piece of kibble if it is knocked over, but with its weighted base it rights itself so Fido can do it again. And again. And again.
3.If Fido and child were like Velcro this summer, start to encourage some separation and some time alone for your dog.
4.This may be a good time for you to start spending more time with your dog, away from the kids. Similarly, if you got a puppy during the summer months start to take steps now to forestall any problems. Dog Star Daily has some great information geared towards puppies and preparing them for separations.
5.Lessen the fuss you make when you leave and when you come home. Be calm and encourage your child to do the same
Be sensitive to your dogs’ feelings now. He may pace, paw at you, be more needy, have accidents in the house even though he has been housebroken for some time, and begin chewing more. If your dog was a rescue or shelter dog he may be feeling even more anxious. He may feel left behind once again. In a week or two things will begin to settle down as he adjusts to this new schedule.