With Summer coming to an end, most of us are going back to a routine which includes leaving early for work, school, and life! Our dogs have become accustomed to getting constant attention and always having company. Going back to having time alone can be anxiety producing and scary! Here are a few tips to help make your pup’s transition back to your pre-Summer schedule more comfortable.
How to help your dog cope with you returning to work and/or kids going back to school?
- Give Them More Independence: Your dog has been right by your side all summer, giving them opportunities to be alone will make separation anxiety more manageable. You can help by leaving them in a room, crate, or a safe space by themselves. When they relax and settle, praise them verbally or with treats.
- Exercise Them: Pent up energy and boredom is not fair for your pup. Before leaving for the day, take them for a walk or have a high energy playtime with your furry best friend. We recommend 15 minutes or longer. When you get home, make sure you take time for another round of play, walks, and cuddles. They are happy to see you and this quality time is important physically and mentally.
- Use That Puppy Brain: Give your dog a job to do! Providing your pup with an interactive toy while they are home alone or in their crate will keep them busy. This will help eliminate anxiety and potential destructive behavior. A great option is a Kong toy filled with frozen treats like yogurt and fruit or peanut butter. Puzzle toys that have movable parts can also keep them occupied, make sure you show them how to use it first!
- Practice Makes Perfect: It may feel silly, but practice putting on your shoes and work attire. Role play your morning routine until you need to start. This will help your dog get ready for what is to come and make your first day back less nerve-wracking for them.
If time is just too tight, we highly recommend you find a great daycare like Canine Cabana to help your dog reduce stress, get plenty of exercise and proper socialization. This can take the pressure off the family and allow your pup to have a great time when you are back to work!