The end of summer is a busy time for every family. Whether you are getting ready to go back to work or sending your kids off to school, there will be an adjustment in the house. Even though your pets aren’t heading back themselves, they will still feel the impact of an emptier house. If you are worried about the change, here are some tips to help your furry friends.
- Create a routine. Pets, especially dogs, like to follow routines. When their summer schedule is about to change, it is important to quickly instill a new one that works with your new schedule. Try to walk and feed your dog around the same time everyday. This way they will know what to expect. If you will not be home when your dog should be walked, don’t hesitate to call a pet walker or sitter.
- Hide treats around the house. Imagine your dog’s delight when he/she finds some delicious treats throughout the day! This will keep your dog happy and occupied. Make sure they are in spots your dog will be able to reach and not in a place where something could be knocked over. Rubber toys filled with peanut butter always make for a fun, long lasting treat.
- Create a special toy. Find a toy your dog loves and give it to him/her right before you leave, every time you leave. When you get home take it away and don’t give it back until you leave again. Your dog will be comforted knowing that there is a toy to play with when you are gone. Your dog will also learn not to expect you home when he/she is playing with that toy.
- Plan time for activities. When you are home it is important to spend time with your pet. Plan family walks, trips to the park, or games of fetch.
Many families get puppies in the summer. But often, a two-month-old puppy can’t stay home alone all day. If there are large blocks of time when your puppy is home alone it is beneficial to call a pet sitter. You do not want to come home to accidents and a restless puppy that has been inside all day. Your puppy will also love the playtime with a new friend.
Don’t forget, the most important thing to do is stick to a routine. Soon your dog will learn it is normal to spend parts of the day home alone and be ok with it. But as an owner, keep in mind that your dog still deserves attention and playtime after being home all day; be just as excited to greet your dog as they are to greet you.