Four Tips to Help your Dog Beat the Back-to-School Blues
Back-to-school season can be tough on the family dog. After a summer of active play with the children, he’s suddenly alone most of the day. Not only are the kids gone all day for school, but when they come home, they’re busy with homework.

The sudden change can cause even a well-behaved pet to adopt undesirable behaviors, like chewing on furniture, barking excessively or soiling in the house. 

Our trainers offer four tips to help ease your dogs transition from summer to school-year schedule:

  • Introduce the new routine before school begins.  To help him get accustomed to alone time, start leaving him home alone for short periods of time – gradually make those periods longer -- before the first day of school.
  • Pump up the exercise. A well-exercised dog is a happy dog, so try take her for a long walk in the morning. Or, hire a dog walker or pet sitter to visit in the middle of the day to break the monotony and add more exercise to the daily routine.
  • Add mental stimulation. Fill a treat-dispensing ball with kibble or favorite treats before the family heads out.  Having to work for his snacks can keep your dog occupied for hours.
  • Take a training refresher.  It’s not unusual for a dog’s obedience skills to lapse during the unstructured summer, and the change in schedule may aggravate the situation. Re-training can make a difference and a professional can customize a program for the dog’s and family’s needs.
For more help with dealing with problem behaviors or to locate a professional dog obedience trainer, visit our Manners page.