IT'S BACK TO SCHOOLl! Ease the Transition For Your Dog As Well As The Kids

When kids go back to school in the Fall, it can be a big change for the dog as well as for the kids.  There's a flutter of activity in the days before school starts, then the kids are suddenly gone for long periods of time every day.  Dogs can experience some anxiety during this major change within the household. there are several reasons for this dog anxiety.

Back to school can be a challenging time for pets.  Here's how to make it easier.
Your dog may be missing the kids when they head back to school!


  • The dog may miss the kids
  • He may worry that the kids won't come back
  • He may get bored without the kids at home to play with
  • A dog may even try to get out of the house or yard so he can "look for" the missing kids
  • He knows something's different but doesn't understand what it is.  This may make him feel some separation anxiety.

What can you do to ease the Back To School transition for dogs?

^ Although Back To School time can be busy and hectic, try to spend more time with your dog as the kids head back to school.  If your days are packed, extra evening walks will be appreciated by your pup!

Back to school time can be difficult for dogs too.  They may feel anxious or lonely when the kids are no longer home all day.  #backtoschool #back2school #dogs
Puzzle toys are mentally stimulating.  They help keep dogs occupied and can burn off some energy & anxiety

^ Give your dog a new toy or something else he loves, to keep him occupied as the kids leave the house in the morning.  A puzzle toy or other interactive toy is a great distraction, and very mentally stimulating.

Keep your pets' occupied when back to school starts to prevent unwanted behaviors
A nice long hike or walk will take your dog's mind off the kids being gone!

^ If your schedule permits, take the dog for a nice long walk or a hike sometime during the morning to exercise and relieve anxiety or boredom and to let him know he's still an important family member!

^ In the first week or two of school keep a close eye on your dog to see if he's exhibiting anxiety or boredom, or developing any negative habits following the transition.  

If you're lucky enough to work from home or be a stay at home parent and you have the time, consider trying a fun new activity with your dog.  Discover a new walking or hiking trail, sign up for lunchtime agility classes, or even take some Doga (doggie yoga) classes together!

^ If extra time with the dog isn't an option, you can hire a trusted dog walker or pet sitter to give the dog some extra attention and exercise during the day.

^ Another option is to take your dog to Doggie day camp.  We have taken our dogs to PetSmart doggie day camp regularly. The dogs love playing with other dogs all day and they burn loads of energy!

^ Have a special treat ready for your dog or cat to give just after the kids leave the house.  Make it extra delicious, and one they only get at that time.  They'll quickly realize that the kids leaving for school means special Treat Time for them!

Don't let your Fur Kids get lost in the shuffle once the insanity of Back to School starts! Have a plan to deal with the changes that will impact your dog.

When the kids are off for Back to school time it can be difficult for the family pet too!
Hey, where'd everybody go??

Have you experienced your dog's behavior changing when Back To School starts?  Please tell us about it in the comments.  We LOVE hearing from you!

Send the Dog Back to School too!


Unknown said...

This was a great post!! My kids don't go back to school until this coming Tuesday, and I know the dogs will be lost without them!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Thanks Jenna! I'm sure your dogs will definitely pine away for your kids once school starts! They're not the only ones who are sad when Summer is over. Thanks for stopping by.

Lapdog Creations said...

I love that we weren't the only ones sharing tips for back to school time! Someone had pointed out that Penny looked like a kid going back to school with her backpack and I ran with it... LOL

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Penny did look just like she was ready for school in her beautiful Outward Hound back pack! I've shared these tips each September since 2014. It's worth repeating!

Michelle & The Paw Pack said...

Sounds like great tips! Not having any kids myself, I won't be able to put them to the test. I'm kind of glad this is one less thing I have to worry about, lol. I never even thought about how back to school time would impact pets until I started seeing others blogging about it recently.

LaylasWoof said...

I do not have kids but these tips are great for those that do and will for definite share them with my friends that do

Ruby's Rescued Life said...

Ruby is definitely sensitive to changes in our schedule. However, now that I'm working more from home she is a bit more at ease. Our daughter goes back to school on Wednesday. We have some fun things planned in the new few days that they both will enjoy.

Irene McHugh @ said...

These are great tips! I need to get out our puzzle toys for the weekdays! We're experiencing a version of this transition right now. Since I work in the middle school library, I've been back at school for a few weeks after the summer off. Just this past week, Matthew started a new position where he works. A day job! Wahoo! No more working nights, which is great for our week nights and weekends together, but the pups miss him sleeping during the day. We've been trying to engage them in more play sessions indoors and we're both taking them on some short evening walks, and I know they love that! Plus we're doing some trick training...not always well. LOL! But we're definitely trying to amp up the activities when we can to help them adjust.

Holly said...

Something most people don’t think about when planning for back to school.

DawgBlogger said...

Baby steps. Every transition is as easy as far as it's done gradually and with positive feedback.

M Dawson said...

I never thought of this but you are right. On minute the kids are home and its all fun, then they go back to school and Pffft the dog has no playmates anymore!

People just don't think about this do they?

Sweet Purrfections said...

I always worried about my previous cat, Praline, when I'd go back to school in the fall after being home for the summer. That's one of the main reasons I got two kittens when I decided to get Truffle and Brulee.

Sadie said...

Great ideas for distracting the dogs. Especially, dogs experiencing 'school' for the first time (adjustment for the children AND the dog). We don't have kids but notice our dogs do not like it when the weekend ends and we're back to work. Neither do I!

Impurrfectlife said...

Animals are so smart! You know I never would have thought about this transitional period with going back to school, but it makes sense. I mean, our pets know our morning routine and are the masters of waking us up BEFORE we get up begging to be fed, so I guess it would make sense they would figure out back to school time is upon us. Great suggestions to keep them occupied. I would have never thought of this.

Beth said...

Back to school is tough for kids, parents, and pets! We adopted Theo in summer of 2013, he was so upset when school started and his favorite people (the kids) left for the day. These are great ways to help fill the emptiness!

Anonymous said...

Interesting. We ever thought how important stimulation and distraction for a dog could be after kids go back to school!!

Toulouse and Marjorie

LaylasWoof said...

No kids here but what worries me if I go back to work out of the house how Madam will deal with it so am trying to sort that out at the moment so there is no panic

Tail Wag Wisdom said...

Great ideas to lessen the stress on the dogs and the entire family as the kids go back to school. I know when I used to go back to school each Fall, my mom would say that the dogs, cat, and horses would all wait for me all day. I know I certainly missed them. It was always a huge transition time for us al. These are terrific tips! I'm sharing them with all my pet parents.

Tail Wag Wisdom said...

And I love seeing all the adorable photos of Phoebe and Icy! So sweet, Cathy! πŸΆπŸ’–

FiveSibesMom said...

I cannot believe it is back-to-school time...seems like it comes faster every year, doesn't it?! Great list of to-dos. I was fortunate in that my daughter only had one year of high school left when our first Husky Harley joined our family. We had our senior girl, Chelsey, and she did miss my daughter. She'd sleep in a sunbeam on the floor of her bedroom until she came home from school. <3 It's true...they get confused when their family from all summer all of a sudden changes and are away for most of the day. Always great to have these reminders to make the transition (hopefully) smoother!

jana rade said...

It's always easier to adjust to an improvement than going back. The same goes for dogs. It's easy to accept everybody being around--much harder to loose it again. Great tips on how to ease that transition.

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