That school bell is about to ring! Believe it or not, it’s time for kids to head back to school. You might think you have all of your back-to-school needs figured out – pencils, paper, notebooks, backpacks, etc, but have you considered what you dogs need? There can be quite a lot of back to school anxiety in dogs! Let’s consider what needs your dog may have during this time of year.
What Makes Dogs So Anxious About Back To School?
Since the beginning of the summer, the kids have been home everyday with their dogs. For the dogs, this has been an awesome time of bonding. They have gotten to play and snuggle all that their hearts have desired. They may have even gotten to go on a great get away with the family!
With school coming back into session, dogs are starting to lose that bonding time with their favorite little people. This change can cause back to school anxiety in dogs. Dogs more time alone now and they might not know how to cope. Back to school anxiety in dogs can lead to some less-than-desirable behaviors like barking and destroying your things.
Easing Back To School Anxiety In Dogs
Back to school anxiety in dogs doesn’t have to win. There are ways that you can help your dog to transition into the new school year. Here are a few tips from the American Kennel Club that can help with this type of separation anxiety (source):
- Crate Train Your Dog
Give your dog a small, happy place that is all their own. Help them to associate their crate with positive things. Chew toys or a treat-releasing puzzle in your dog’s crate can help your dog to pass the time alone.
- Start Separating the Dog and the Kids Now
Before the kids head off to school, start slowly giving your dog more and more time alone and away from the kids. Consider giving your dog a high-value treat right before leaving the dog alone. This may help your dog to start looking forward to when their favorite humans leave!
- Create An Exercise Routine
Exercise is a great way to reduce back to school anxiety in dogs! Create a reliable routine of walks, play time, puzzle treats, training, and other cognitive games for your dog. It will help your dog to be a little tired when it is time for them to be alone for a while.
- Stop Encouraging Clingy Behavior
Teach your dog commands such as “stay”. They should be able to learn to do this for gradually increasing periods of time. Also, don’t make a big deal of returning home. Never punish your dog for accidents or damage they caused while you and the kids are away. This could make them even more anxious about being left alone.
Another way to help your dogs is with the calming effect of CrittEar Calm dog earplugs. If your dog is very stimulated by outside noises (thunder, people outside of your home or in the hallway of your apartment building, etc) our dog earplugs can help. With a Noise Reduction Rating of 31 dB, our dog earplugs help to buffer loud sounds down to the level of a quiet conversation. They are also useful if your dog is sensitive to the sounds of you or your kids coming home.
Anxiety Medication And Your Dog
Always talk to your veterinarian before giving your dog any medication. Remember to get all the pros and cons to each medication before giving it to your dog. Sometimes, a medication may sound great, but have some undesirable side effects.
There are natural alternatives to anxiety medication for dogs. Talk to your veterinarian about using CBD oil or Valerian root. These may be just as effective for your dog as the prescription medications!
Getting Ready For A Great School Year
Your dogs can find relief from back to school anxiety in dogs! CrittEar Calm dog earplugs can help. They are medication-free and reusable (super easy to clean). You can use them in conjunction with other calming products. You can purchase CrittEar Calm dog earplugs in a convenient 3-pack so that you have a pair for your dog to wear, a pair to wash, and an extra pair for your dog’s calming needs on the go. We wish you and your dogs a great new school year!