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Prepping Your Pet for the Back-to-School Transition
September 2, 2021
Transitioning back into the school routine at the end of the sweet, sweet summertime can be tough on us and our kiddos, but let’s not forget about the furry friends in our lives in this time of upheaval. Campouts, midday walks, daytrips with the family, and lots of excitement one month—then suddenly lots of alone time in a silent house the next.
Without some forethought, this abrupt change can lead to separation anxiety, unwanted behavior, and some overall sad and confusing days for your pet. Here are some ways you can mitigate that and reassure your pet (and yourself!) that summer break may be over, but all is still well, and a new school year and crisp fall days bring their own kind of excitement and pet-filled potential for fun.
Start Preparing Now
If you still have some time between now and the start of the school year, start using your time wisely. To smooth the transition for your pet, try things like:
Give Them All the Love They Could Possibly Want
Twenty percent of dogs have some kind of separation anxiety. And that percentage jumps up to 29-50% in senior dogs. If your dog is one such sufferer, the whole family suddenly being gone the majority of the day when the school year starts can make the dog confused, stressed and depressed, and cause them to act out.
Encourage your kids to spend intentional time with your pets before and after school to reassure them they’re still loved and all is well. Lots of extra love and attention from the whole family in those first few fall weeks is a necessity.
Some soft TV or radio noise through the day with human voices can be soothing, so consider leaving something on if your pet will be alone all day.
And when the family’s fall routine is officially in full swing, for the first few weeks, try to have one member of the family swing by home on a lunch break or a free period to check on your pet.
Here are some more separation-anxiety-busting tips:
Know When it’s Time to Call in Reinforcements
Dropping your dog off at daycare, or hiring a walker to stop in and visit, are great options in some cases. If your pup suffers from severe separation anxiety, or you want to infuse a little excitement into his day once the dog days of summer have ended, consider your options.
Consider your dog’s age, activity level, and personality. A social, energetic dog might like going to a daycare or on group walks where there are lots of other dogs and people to interact with. An older or more low-key dog might prefer having someone just stop into the house to interact with them, play with them in the yard, or take them on a walk alone. These can be expensive, so unless you want to splurge, this is something you could do for just a day or two each week.
And as you’re back-to-school shopping, factor affordable pet insurance into the budget! Bivvy pet insurance can be you and your pet’s best friend if they get into trouble while left home alone this school year.
Happy schooling! You, your little humans, and your fur-kids have got this!