It's Back To School! 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. 

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 schedule some time at doggie day camp.  We have taken our dogs to PetSmart doggie day cam many times. The dogs love playing 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 means Treat Time!

Don't let your Furkids get lost in the shuffle once the insanity of Back to School starts!

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 leave a comment and tell us about it.  We LOVE hearing from you!


  1. 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!

    1. 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.

  2. 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

    1. 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!