It’s back to school time, and the kids are gone. You can already feel the huge impact that this has at home. It is a scene that we all know well. Your kids have packed their bags and they’re about to leave for school. The dog knows that something is up. Then, your kids leave, closing the door behind them. Shocked, your dog starts barking, as if he’s begging them not to leave without him.
Your dog had a wonderful summer holiday playing with the kids every day. Now they’re boarding the school bus. Believe me, your dog is very confused. “Why is this happening?” he asks. “Who will be giving me treats? Who will throw my ball and run around with me? What a poor dog I am!”
Before long, boredom sets in, and, as sure as day follows night, the bad behaviors start. Clearly, the transition is not an easy one for your dog. But you can make things easier for him. How? It’s very simple. Below are a few activities that you can use to keep your dog entertained.
Engage the dog in some exercise
Just a few minutes of vigorous exercise with your dog will go a long way towards improving his overall well-being. A good morning workout is a great way to work your dog’s brain and his muscles, too. This workout could be done before the kids head off to school. More likely than not, this will greatly reduce your dog’s separation anxiety.
Treats and toys
Ask any dog owner and they’ll tell you that most dogs love it when they have something new to chew on. As soon as the kids head off to school is the perfect time to pull out the toys and treats. This includes puzzle toys, meaty bones, and bully sticks. These toys will keep your dog entertained for hours. Toys and treats are also useful forms of positive reinforcement.
Engage the dog in some activities
As soon as the kids leave for the bus stop, take the dog for a ride to the park or to parts unknown. There you and Rover can brush up on obedience training. It will also give you more ideas how to deal with your dog’s anxiety and boredom.
One great option that families should consider is doggie daycare. It’s a great chance for dogs to socialize with other dogs. The other more flexible option is hiring a dog walker. They’ll come to your home every day to provide your dog – and you – with some welcome relief.
Get another dog
Another effective way to stimulate a bored dog is to get another dog for him to play with. As social animals, dogs need each other’s company. However, two dogs can get up to ten times as much mischief as one. You’ve been warned.
We all know that dogs need a lot of patience and time. However, they are also fairly flexible animals. It’s safe to assume that if you follow these steps, your dog will eventually get used to your kids being out of the house.