Back to School: How to Prepare Your Dog for a Change in Routine When School Starts

A German Sheppard puppy next to a yellow backpack full of school supplies

As the back-to-school season approaches, it’s essential to consider how the changes in our routines can affect our furry friends. Dogs, being creatures of habit, can sometimes struggle with the sudden shift in their human family’s daily schedule. In this blog, we will explore some practical tips to help you prepare your dog for the change in routine when school starts. From gradually adjusting their schedule to providing enrichment activities, we’ve got you covered. Additionally, we’ll discuss enrolling your dog in a reputable dog daycare, such as Bark U, to ensure they have a safe and engaging environment while you’re at work or school.

Gradually Adjust the Schedule

One of the key ways to help your dog transition smoothly to the new routine is by gradually adjusting their schedule. Dogs thrive on consistency, so it’s important to make changes slowly and deliberately. Start by shifting their feeding, exercise, and potty breaks to match the new routine over a period of several days or weeks. By doing so, your dog can acclimate to the upcoming changes without feeling overwhelmed.

Create a Designated Space

Creating a designated space for your dog can provide them with a sense of security during the day. Whether it’s a comfortable crate, a cozy bed, or a quiet corner of the house, having a safe haven can help alleviate any anxiety your dog may experience when left alone. Make sure the area is stocked with their favorite toys, blankets, and perhaps an item of your clothing that carries your scent. This will provide them with familiar smells and objects that can help comfort them in your absence.

Introduce Alone Time

If your dog is used to having constant human companionship, it’s essential to gradually introduce alone time before the school year begins. Start by leaving your dog alone for short periods and gradually increase the duration over time. During these alone periods, provide your dog with interactive toys or puzzles to keep them mentally stimulated. Kong toys filled with treats or food puzzles can be excellent options to keep your dog engaged and entertained.

Keep Up with Exercise

Regular exercise is crucial for a dog’s physical and mental well-being. With the change in routine, it’s important to ensure your dog still receives enough exercise before and after school. Take them for a walk in the morning or engage in a play session to help burn off excess energy.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in shaping your dog’s behavior and helping them adjust to the changing routine. Reward your dog with treats, praise, and affection when they exhibit calm behavior during the transition. This positive reinforcement will create positive associations with the new routine and motivate your dog to continue behaving well. Remember to be patient and consistent with your rewards to effectively reinforce desired behavior.

Dog Daycare – Bark U

Another excellent option to consider during the school year is enrolling your dog in a reputable dog daycare, such as Bark U. Dog daycares provide a structured and supervised environment where your dog can socialize with other dogs, engage in supervised play, and receive mental and physical stimulation. Bark U, in particular, offers a range of services, including professional supervision, a safe and secure facility, and various activities to keep your dog entertained. Dog daycare can be an ideal solution for dogs who thrive on social interaction and require more engagement during the day.

Remember to tailor these tips to your specific dog’s needs and temperament. Every dog is unique, so be patient and understanding throughout the adjustment period. With your love and support, your dog will soon adapt to the new routine and continue to be a happy and well-adjusted member of your family.

Register here to enroll your dog in Bark U and request a temperament assessment. To learn more about our other services, visit us online or call us at 215-486-2200 today!