Improve the Family Dog’s Mood With Back-to-School Transition Tips
The kids may be excited about the new school year, but Fido doesn’t know much about the change that’s about to occur. A full house will suddenly be quiet, which is a huge change for any dog breed. Pet families should think of both the kids and dogs as they prepare for the fall. Get the family dog ready for the back-to-school transition with these clever tips. A calmer and happier pet will be the result of the efforts.
Schedule Walkers Now
If a single Golden family is starting the new school year, the rest of the neighborhood is doing the same thing. Fido will probably appreciate a break about halfway through the day so that there’s some stimulation during school hours. Think about hiring a dog walker or loved one for a daily visit with the pooch.
The visits should include playing, treats and a bathroom-relief period. Midday breaks are especially important for pups that are inside the home. Dogs in backyards have more chances to explore and relieve themselves otherwise.
Try a Mock Morning
Dog training professionals will often suggest that practice is a great way to get the pup ready for back to school. Set the alarm, go through the morning routine and get the pup ready for a day on its own. The family may be only going out for breakfast, but this routine is a great way to introduce the concept of leaving to the pup.
Ideally, Lakewood families should perform the mock morning several times before the real, first day of school. The dog will only notice that the time alone is a bit longer than normal. Less stress on the pup is the goal of every effort.
A trick that a dog daycare might use to calm the pups down is relaxing music. Try a timer on a music channel or radio station. The summer was probably full of voices, music and television shows so it makes sense that music is a smart alternative.
Avoid any music that has a hectic sound. It might upset the pup. Jazz, soft pop and other genres are great ways to stimulate the dog’s mind without causing stress. Leave the music on at a low volume so that it’s a background sound as opposed to an overwhelming experience.
Create Quality Time
The family dog may have received a lot of attention over the summer. That quality time is about to disappear, however. Be sure to carve out daily times for play and exercise. Families might spend 30 minutes with the pup in the morning. In the afternoon, the kids come home to playtime with Fido.
Dog training professionals will often suggest that this time should be solely dedicated to the pooch. No distractions should occur because the pup will notice the changes. With a happy and exercised dog, the family can leave it to rest for most of the school day.
A unique item that works well for today’s pets is the puzzle. Ask any dog training professional about puzzles for pups because there are many varieties out there. These puzzles are designed to stimulate the pup’s mind.
For example, some puzzles require the movement of certain objects to obtain a treat. The pup knows that the item is there so it works extra hard to finally consume it. Other puzzles offer textures, sounds and visual items as rewards. The trick is to find a puzzle that the pup enjoys.
Take Advantage of Technology
Pet families might consider today’s technology as a way to transition the pup into the school year. Wi-Fi connections make it possible for the dog to see and hear the family when they’re gone for the day.
Set up a tablet and speaker near the pup’s resting area. Check in on the pup around lunchtime. The dog may not understand the visual aspect of the communication, but the sound of the family’s voices is unmistakable. Golden families may see the pup’s tail wag in response to the sweet words over the speaker.
Pet owners can mix and match these tips and tricks to make the most out of the transition period. Once the magical mixture is found, however, be consistent with the efforts. Call in every day at the same time, or hire the dog walker for daily exercise. The consistency is also calming for the dog. In some respects, it knows how the routine should go each day. Most dog daycare facilities live by this rule.
Look for Alternative Schedules
Some dogs are simply needier than others. With the family’s efforts, the pup may still have issues with the back-to-school transition. Look for alternative ways to make the daily schedule work. Mom or dad might work from home one or two days a week to break the monotony of the workweek, for instance.
Older children, such as high schoolers, may have some flexibility with their schedules. Go home for lunch, and spend time with Fido. These little breaks for the pup will make a huge difference.
Try a Training Facility
A fun approach to back-to-school time is scheduling classes at a training facility. Dogs see training sessions as fun diversions. Depending on the class and goals, the dog might spend an hour or more at the facility. This time period breaks up the school day so that missing the family isn’t such a reality. The family arrives home to a pup that has new skills and a fun-loving attitude.
Back to school is a big change for Fido, but the transition doesn’t have to be a painful one. Try a few steps that work for the pup. A Lakewood household can be a warm and calming place when the pet’s quality of life is taken into consideration.