It’s back to school time and anyone who has kids knows that means new schedules, new activities and new challenges. Although there’s a part of the process that may be exciting, the change in daily routine is an adjustment for everyone — including our pets.
As people, we know the reason for the changes and we understand that the changes will require establishing new habits. But if you’re a doggie who relies on established norms, a change in schedule can be confusing. To lessen the stress, it may be necessary to reassure doggie that he hasn’t gotten lost in the shuffle.
Strive For Establishing A Balance
Strive for establishing a balance between activity, sleep, play, and quiet time (just like you do for yourself and your kids). Perhaps assigning particular tasks to family members will assure that doggie gets the necessary attention and care and creating a written schedule can be a big help to keep everyone on track.
• Walks are always important to doggie’s well-being and maybe an early morning stroll — even a short one — will start the day on a high note.
• Getting everyone a healthy breakfast may take some doing during hectic mornings, but having someone fill the dog’s dish during this time may insure that this all-important task will not be forgotten.
• Do you drive the kids to school? If you can, take the dog with you. He’ll have a new and fun routine and let’s face it, a car ride is ALWAYS a good thing!
• If your dog is left at home for long periods of time during the day, make sure to leave a toy or two and make sure to rotate the toys to keep him interested.
• Doggie will quickly learn the daily schedules of everyone and look forward to happy homecomings. You may be tired from a long day, but if at all possible take a couple of minutes to let doggie know you’re happy to see him. Something as simple as a dog biscuit pulled from your briefcase may be all takes.
• Both people and animals benefit from pre-bedtime rituals that are calm and relaxing. Snuggles, stories, music and time with loved ones go a long way to a good night’s sleep. Sweet dreams.