How To Help Your Dogs’ Anxiety When Your Kids Start School!
7 September, 2016
Summer is coming to an end and as your kids go back to school, the house is seemingly quiet. While you might just love the new-found peacefulness, your dogs might not feel the same way. After all, the household goes from a lively, playful place to a home with much less action and activity. And, for some dogs, it can be cause them anxiety and they can lash out destructively or simply just be very sad.
Below are some tips to help your dog’s anxiety:
Make sure to get a long walk in the morning
Make sure to take your dog out for a long morning walk which is a way to release the pent-up anxiety. Exercise can also enrich your dog’s life, decrease stress and provide the right outlets for normal behavior. Plus, a tired dog doesn’t have much excess energy to burn when he’s left alone! He’ll start the day all tired and you will already be away when he wakes up.
Make sure that breakfast is the biggest meal
Make sure to give your pup(s) a big breakfast. Between the walk and the meal, your dogs will most likely nap after they eat and the goal is that your dog will snooze away much of his time alone (we know how eating makes our pups sleepy!). Or at least, when you leave the house, your pup will be resting and it won’t be as traumatic from them.
Give your dog a special chew toy for when you leave each day
Make sure to give your dog a great chew toy that is only used or given to your dog when you are away to keep your dog focused on something other than your departure. And, make sure that the chew toy is safe to leave with your dog that is alone all day. If your dog associates being alone with something good, like a tasty treat or toy, it can reduce or resolve the problem.
When you leave every morning or your kids do, make it a non-event
Many dogs know when you’re about to leave the house and will get anxious or try to stop your departure altogether. When saying goodbye, just give your dog a pat on the head, say goodbye and leave. Similarly, when arriving home, say hello to your dog and then don’t pay any more attention to him until he’s calm and relaxed.
Don’t ever punish your dog for being anxious or destructive
Anxious behaviors are not the result of disobedience, so don’t scold or punish your dog (ever) if he doesn’t overcome his fear quickly. If you punish or even scold your dog, your pup may become even more upset and the problem could get worse. Be patient, and work with your dog until he feels comfortable and enjoys spending time alone again. Even if your dog gets to your favorite shoes or furniture, he is only acting out because you have not provided him the tools to calm your pup down and he is just frustrated!