Did it seem as though your dog or cat went through a deep depression when your kids returned back to school? Unlike mom and dad, especially mom, the pets can actually get a case of the “back to school blues”. After all, most of summer was spent playing with the kids and their friends, and having them around full time and we as adults do not have as much time to devote to them and play with them . . . so they may feel a little lost and out of sorts with the kids gone. Cats, understandably may not feel quite the same as a dog as they adapt well and actually alone time. When it comes to your dog, however, there are some things that you can do to ease the pooch into the new transition of “quiet time” in the absence of the kids.
• If you drive the kids to and from school, allow your dog to go along for the ride. It will break up the day for him/her and be thrilled to see your kids when they get in the car. After dropping off the kids in the morning, it is a great time to devote a “play” or walk time for your dog . . . eventually he/she will look forward to it.
• Think up some special games throughout the day to keep the dog busy, puzzle type games like hide and seek of favorite toys that you can possibly hide a treat in. Your dog will search for hours and work on the toy in order to get the treat out. Hide other chew toys around the house for your dog to search for, giving him hours of busy time without being sad the kids are not home.
• Trips to the dog park are always fun, fetch in the back yard or getting together with friends and neighbors that have dogs to keep your dog exercised may just be a few ideas to ease through the transition. It is just a matter of finding things to
Finding activities to keep your pet happy and active is always a challenge but a dog that is exercised more will be relieved to just lay around and take those much needed naps when the kids are gone. Some of these activities can work as well if no one is home for a length of time to ward off boredom and separation anxiety.
Dogs are more flexible than people sometimes and they will adjust well. It may take a week or two but they will adapt to the new schedule and look forward to the time when the kids get home, just in time for mom to lose her sanity all over again.