Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like this summer has just flown by? I can’t believe it’s the 2nd week of August already, and that school is back in session in so many areas.
Recently my friend Jillian told me that she’s noticed her dog, Allie, seems a bit depressed. Like me, Jill works from home so she’s with Allie pretty much all day. But that happy-go-lucky mutt from just a few weeks ago now just lays around staring at the door all day, and Jill didn’t know why.
It didn’t take me long to realize that Allie’s got the Back to School Blues. Danielle and Derek, Jill’s 12 year old twins, started back to school last week and after 2 months of having them home with her all day, Allie is missing them.
When I bounced this theory off Jill, she agreed that Allie does seem to perk up when she hears the bus, and she goes nuts when the twins burst in the door with their backpacks in hand.
If your dog is experiencing something similar now that the kids have gone back to school, there are some things you can do to make the transition a little easier on everyone. Below I’m sharing a few ideas that might help.
5 Tips to Help Your Dog Beat the Back to School Blues
1. Keep morning departures simple. When it’s time for the kids to leave in the morning, don’t make a big deal of it. We can be tempted to shower our dogs in kisses and hugs as we’re heading out the door, but she’ll do better if you say a quick goodbye and then leave.
2. Take your dog for a walk. If time permits, maybe one of the kids can walk her before leaving for school. If not, do it yourself before you get your day started. A little exercise helps your dog burn off energy and will also reduce stress.
3. Establish a routine. Dogs are creatures of habit, and your mutt will feel much more secure if she knows what to expect in her day to day schedule. As much as possible, set a routine and stick to it. This includes feeding, potty breaks, play time, and more. It’ll be beneficial not just for your dog, but for the entire family.
4. Give your dog a special treat. Help her associate the kids being gone with something she loves, such as a special toy or treat. Give this to her only while your children are at school and she may even come to look forward to that time of day.
5. Encourage the kids to play with your dog as soon as they get home from school. Let them take 30 minutes to spend time with the dog and just relax before starting homework or after school chores. They need a few minutes of downtime, and your dog will be thrilled that her favorite playmates are finally home!
These are just a few ideas to help your dog beat the back to school blues. What other suggestions do you have? I’d love for you to share them in a comment below or drop by our Facebook page to join in the conversation there!