How to Help Your Dog with Back-to-School Loneliness

As we start September, summer vacations are more memories than plans and we’re beginning to pack for home, getting the kids ready for back to school, and already missing the extra time spent with your dog. 

Your dog misses this time too, albeit he doesn’t quite understand why everyone is feeling this way. 

Separation anxiety comes from a number of different causes, including a change in routine and the inevitable emotions that go along with that change. Dogs are social animals and can feel lonely when their family is away.

Our emotions, sadness, guilt, anxiety, fear, tension, etc. are all feelings felt whenever we perceive the ending of something we enjoy(ed) and are completely natural – for us humans.

Dogs lack the reasoning required for those emotions to affect them in the same way. Of course, they feel sadness and grief, fear and anxiety, plus more – but for them it’s more reactionary. Dogs base these feelings on an actual event, as opposed to feeling that way about an event that hasn’t happened yet. They live in the present moment, and we love them for that.

So, how can you help your dog deal with all these changes? Here are some tips to make the transition easier for you and your dog:

1. Keep your dogs’ mealtimes and walks as close to normal times as possible.

2. Giving her more structured walks will help by giving your dog more of a mental challenge and help them relax.

3. Don’t get excited about leaving and coming home, and crate your dog whenever you leave.

4. Chewing is a great stress reliever for your dog – frozen raw rib
bones, “Gorilla” chews (made from java wood), Nyla Bones are all good options but stay away from cooked or smoked bones, marrow bones, rawhide, and anything that they’re likely
to rip large pieces from. 

Finally, consider enrolling your dog in a daycare or boarding program so they can have some companionship during the day. By following these tips, you can help your dog adjust to life without you around all the time. 

How have you helped your dog cope with back-to-school loneliness? Share your ideas with me on Facebook @turnerandpoochtraining 

Turner and Pooch Dog Training   705-808-DOGS