It’s Back-to-School Time: 10 Tips to Help Your Dog Adjust
By Dorothy Wills-Raftery
“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.”
- John Grogan, Author
It’s August, which means in some areas of the country it’s already back-to-school time, while in other states, the leisurely summer days are quickly counting down as the traditional school-time month of September is right around the corner. No matter when your children go back to school, it’s a time of change and can be stressful for your family dog.
According to Rover.com, “While some dogs handle these changes fine, for others it can be scary or frustrating to see the world they’d gotten used to in the summer months suddenly change.”
So, what can we do to help our dogs transition more easily to the new fall schedule?
1. Start the new routine now, including early to bed, early to rise, breakfast with the kids, and a walk with your dog to and from the school or bus stop. Practice paves the way! And don’t forget praise as your dog adjusts to the new routine.
2. Do you drive your student to school? Let the dog come along!
3. Install video cameras to keep an eye on your dog when no one is home (some even have treat dispensers!)
4. Play music or leave the TV on low for background noise to keep your dog company. (My Huskies loved the weather station–a mix of voices and music!) There is even a subscription DOGTV channel with 24/7 programming designed to help pass the time and ease canine anxiety.
5. Hire a dog walker or have a trusted family member or friend come and let your dog out for some exercise and a little playtime while everyone is at work and school.
6. Enroll your dog in school! There are classes available for agility, dance, and even tricks! Or, how about having them meet some new canine friends by attending doggy daycare, or a visit to a nearby dog park for some fun socializing with other dogs.
7. When your children come home from school and have a snack, let your dog join in and have a special treat with them so it becomes a favorite part of your dog’s day.
8. Dogs make wonderful study partners! While your child is doing homework or studying, let the family dog be nearby for belly rubs and petting (does wonders for both dog and child).
9. Are your children away at college? Let them FaceTime with your dog! Afterwards, to help chase away any blues, leash up your dog and go out for a nice walk together, and maybe even stop off at a dog-friendly café for a treat.
10. If your dog seems really sad, it might be a good time to think about getting him/her a fur buddy (if your dog is open to it) by fostering or adopting a dog from a local rescue.
We can’t keep change from happening, but we can be creative in finding ways to keep the family dogs occupied and happy while the children are in or away at school. Then, when the kids are back home and greet their waiting dogs, the reunion will be such a happy one!
Did You Know?
4Knines carries not only car seat covers, but also covers for the doors, truck seats, and even cargo liners?
What a great way to protect your vehicle when bringing your dog along to bring/pick up the kids from school! Walking with your dog to meet your kids at the bus stop or school? 4Knines also has dog seat belts, durable slip lead dog leashes, and no pull/no choke design harnesses with quick release buckles, and reflective straps (all the better to see them in the dark and stormy weather!)
4Knines is a USA-based company and, as always, all their products are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee!
They also donate to multiple animal advocacy groups, as well as groups that help veterans with service dogs.
Check out all the great items for your dog’s needs HERE.
Dorothy Wills-Raftery is an award-winning photojournalist and author. Her canine books include EPIC Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy; the FiveSibes™ Tales children’s books: What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy and Getting Healthy With Harley; and Buddy, the Christmas Husky~Based On A True Holiday Miracle (ArcticHouse Publishing). Her internationally top blogsite is FiveSibes™ , based on her five Siberian Huskies, and includes an online encyclopedia for the Siberian Husky breed.
Her work has also appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul & Rosie the Riveter book series, Woman’s World Magazine, AmericanPet Magazine, American Dog Media, Ruff Drafts, The Sled Dogger, and Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine. Dorothy has been awarded the prestigious Maxwell Medallion by the Dog Writers of America Association for “Excellence” for her writing, photography, and fiction. Her book EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy received the Independent Press Award for “Excellence” in the Reference Book category and the NYC Big Book Award for “Excellence” in the Animal/Pet book category. She was named “Best Author” by Hudson Valley Magazine and all four of her books were named “Best in Print” by AmericanPet Magazine.
An official International Purple Day® for (K9) Epilepsy Ambassador since 2012 and a volunteer case manager for The Wally Foundation-Canine Epilepsy, Dorothy partnered with the nonprofit Purple Day® Every Day presented by The Anita Kaufmann Foundation for her #Paws4Purple initiative, and she created the #FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K9 Epilepsy Online Resource Library—all inspired by her epileptic Siberian Husky, Gibson, in order to help other Epi-dog families find accurate information to help their Epi-dogs.