July 30 2015
August is the month when many households prepare to go back to
school. Amid the hustle and bustle of all the preparations, it's important not to forget your dog.
Chances are the kids have been playing with him in the summer, meaning your dog
was less lonely and bored. All of a sudden your dog sees their family
companions putting on a backpack and heading out the door without them!
To ward off any stress your dog may experience, here are some
tips to prevent your dog from feeling neglected:
- Routine. Just like humans, dogs can get depressed. Be
wary if your dog has less energy, seems listless, or won't
important he gets used to a new schedule.
- Make sure before everyone leaves for the day
that your dog goes for a morning walk to get some exercise. It may mean getting
up 15 minutes earlier, but getting outside and playing for a few minutes can
prevent destruction while you are gone.
- For several weeks before school starts, leave
your dog home alone for slightly longer periods of time so he gets used to NOT
being the center of attention.
- When it's time to leave, don't make a big fuss. If you get emotional, your
dog will pick up on your body language that you are upset. If possible, have someone let your dog out at
mid-day as a break in the day. If no one in the family can do it, consider
getting a dog walker.
- When you come home, once again, don't
make a big deal of it. Train your kids to NOT go to the dog's
area as soon as they get home. If possible, have them ignore the dog for a few
minutes to allow him to settle down and prevent jumping. After a few minutes, calmly greet your dog and take him
out to go to the bathroom if needed.
- It's easy to forget the dog in the
evening as you settle down to do homework or cook dinner. Remember, your dog
has been waiting for you all day and probably has a lot of pent-up energy. Take
him out for some play time - a tired dog is generally a good
dog. A bored dog = destruction!
- Mental stimulation.
Although dogs may nap a lot during the day, it's
important they have something to do while everyone is gone. Have your child give him a special toy right
before they leave. Food dispensing toys can be
stuffed with a little peanut butter or cream cheese and can even be frozen for
a long lasting treat! Dogs are natural foragers who enjoy looking for food on
the ground. You can put treats around the house for him to find while
you are gone.
- Shelter. Every dog needs a safe place to stay during the
day where they feel secure and comfortable. If your dog doesn't
already have a place of his own, create one for him. Consider getting him a
crate. Because dogs are descended from den-dwelling animals, a crate makes a
natural shelter. If he is going to be left outside, consider purchasing a dog
house so he'll have shelter in case of bad weather. And always, make sure he has plenty of clean
If you follow these tips, your dog will
experience less stress and separation anxiety when suddenly faced with a quiet
house. For more great ideas,
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