With kids now back at school, fall is officially underway for many of us.
We don’t have kids of our own yet, so we’re not part of this annual ritual of schedule shifting and order and routine re-establishment come back-to-school, but that doesn’t mean our dog hasn’t taken notice of the change, especially after the lazier, more laissez-faire days of summer around the neighbourhood.
Come September, where we live, there are groups of children with backpacks everywhere, Moms and Dads collecting on sidewalks waiting for bus pick-ups and drop-offs, big yellow school buses rolling up and down our streets, and crossing guards stationed on the big corners. Our dog has noticed these things.
What It Means
Walks have become a little more interesting for the dog, and so take a little bit longer for us. Smells are more abundant, noise is more lively, distraction more prevalent, and there are a lot more people – big and small – to share the sidewalks with these days. Watching for additional traffic has become critical too.
If our dog has noticed, and we don’t even have kids, I’d bet that if you do have kids, and are partaking in this new daily ritual of back-to-school, your dog has likely picked up on the back-to-school phenomenon too.
What To Do About It
Transition of any kind can be hard on a dog. From the big things like moving houses or adding or losing a family member to the smaller things like seasonal weather changes or changing their food, dogs can get out of sorts when things change, however slight or insignificant the change may seem to us.
So, making sure that the family dog gets considered in the new back-to-school routine is really important. Keeping times consistent for daily walks and feeding and play time will matter. Keeping them a part of the routine is vital.
Changing foods, or habits, or rules and expectations, may not work well right now. Routine and consistency will help a dog adjust much more quickly to a changing pace and schedule at home, and everyone will be better for it.
Is your family headed back-to-school? Do you have tips that help your dog cope with the changes this brings? Share them with us below!