Summer’s End – Back to School

Summer has come and gone so quickly! The school buses are running, backpacks are full and teachers are ready! School is back in session!

While families are running around getting back into the rhythm of school time, dogs and puppies are finding themselves home alone for longer hours and not getting the attention or exercise they were getting all summer. Here at K-9 Coach, we begin to get many phone calls with owners concerned about the changes in their dog’s behavior and what they can do to resolve the issues. This month, as the children head back to school, we offer top tips to avoid behavioral issues for the stay at home doggie.

  • Exercise: As families get busier, the physical needs of the family dog can take a back seat to homework and school activities. Many behavioral issues and frustrations in dogs can be traced back to a lack of physical exercise. Make sure you are engaging your dog in physical exercise two times a day, hire a dog walker or bring your pup to play with his friends at K-9 Coach playcare.
  • Mental Exercise: Not only is physical exercise key to your dog’s health, so is mental exercise! A bored dog is a dog in trouble. Providing ample interactive toys for your pup will work their mind while you run errands or head to the office. We offer a variety of interactive toys to entertain any bored pup. From puzzles to chewy treats, we have it all. Leaving for work? Fill one of our puzzles with your pup’s dog food and let them spend the next few hours working their mind and you will come home to a calmer, happier four legged friend.
  • Get in Class: As school begins, look for our fall class schedule to be published. Spending one hour a week in a dog class has been shown to reduce stress, encourage a bond with you and your dog and prevent canine surrender to shelters. Enroll in a class you find interesting: Agility for Fun, Nosework, Family Dog classes and more and have fun while improving both you and your dog’s quality of life.
  • Routine: Know your family routine will change soon? Go ahead and start instituting those changes now. For example, if your daily school routine includes your pup spending a few hours in the crate, go ahead and start crating your dog for a few hours now. Making sudden changes to a dog’s summer routine can cause anxiety and depression in dogs and, in some cases, will result in destructive behavior.
  • Carpool: Many times when I run our son to school, one of our dogs will ride along. This is a great way to spend time with the dogs while spending time with my son. Make sure you have a safety belt for your dog for these beloved car rides. Unrestrained dogs can be seriously injured or worse should you have an accident. Some dogs enjoy riding in your lap and will crawl all over the car while you drive. So, belting them in can keep everyone safe and allow Fido to enjoy carpool with the family.
  • School Gear: If you’re like me, you are constantly telling your kid(s) to pick-up their backpack when they get home. Many items your children use at school are dangerous to your dog. So, make sure you have a place to put these new items that will help prevent a curious hound from ingesting anything that is unsafe. Last year, we lost several soft-sided lunch boxes to our nosey German Shepard! Instead of dropping it in the floor or hanging it on a door knob, I finally got smart and installed a hook for his backpack and school gear!

I hope you found these back to school tips helpful to keep your pup safe, happy and healthy. Make sure to see our website for upcoming classes and events and stop by our retail area to grab all your canine food, toys and treats. And to all the big and little children heading back to school this year, we wish you a wonderful year!

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K-9 Coach