That time of the year has come around once again! Children going back to school after a long summer can disrupt the entire family routine, and is often a stressful time for everyone. During this time one family member in particular may be overlooked, dogs can suffer from separation anxiety and boredom after a fun filled summer, so it is important to include them in your new daily activities.
Dogs without exercise can be destructive and problematic, try to spare 15-20 minutes of your morning to take your dog out for a brisk walk to tire him out. Alternatively combine walking the dog and taking the kids to school if possible, this way the dog will get plenty of interaction and mental stimulation.
When the kids go back to school is when most parents begin full time work hours, this may mean that your dog is left on his own for most of the day. New toys can be a great way to keep them entertained, along with treat balls and interactive feeders. Avoid bones or chews, as unattended these could pose a choking hazard! If possible, have someone return at lunchtime to take the dog out and spend some time together.
Whenever a dog is left alone, the sound of voices or music can be comforting. Quiet radios help send dogs to sleep and muffles out any strange noises they may react to.
Some dogs may experience separation anxiety, as going from a full house to being left alone can be a big step. Try to make the transition gradual, and include natural stress remedies such as diffusers and plug ins to calm your pet down. In any spare time make it your priority to spend time with your dog; whether it is playing in the park, lounging on the sofa or training, it can dramatically improve their behaviour and overall wellbeing.