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Back-to-school season: How to keep your dog active

August 14, 2023
Person walking a golden retriever

Back-to-school season is a busy time of year for many people, and while it might be exciting for kids, it’s less so for our furry family members. After spending the summer with family, your dog might not enjoy the peace and quiet of home as much as parents do. The start of the school year can be an unpleasantly abrupt change for even the most well-adjusted dog. Here’s what you need to know about preparing your dog for the back-to-school season.

New School Year, New Routine: Embracing the Change

Dogs thrive on routine, which is why back-to-school season can be so stressful. You can take steps to ease them into the new routine before school starts, keeping your pup calmer, happier, and more capable of withstanding the stress.

A few weeks before school starts, you can begin to work on the switch to the new routine. Walk your dog early in the morning before school hours, and walk again in the evening after school hours. If your child walks to the bus stop or school, consider walking your pup to those locations, too, to get a sense of familiarity with them. If your dog enjoys car rides, drive them to and from school so that they can get comfortable with morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups.

If your dog will be spending time alone at home, consider adding a few fun new activities, games, or toys to keep them busy and engaged with or without people. Kongs filled with peanut butter and frozen chunks or slices of banana can keep your pup busy while you’re out. Create a rewarding game of hide-and-seek by hiding dog treats or bits of dog food to get your pooch up and moving around. Be sure to give your dogs a cozy spot to retreat when they’re tired or overstimulated: Crates are excellent options! Be sure to keep the door open so your pup can come and go as desired.

Staying Busy: Bring Your Pup to Work

An increasing number of employers are adopting pet-friendly work policies, including Nestle Purina PetCare Company, Amazon, and Google. If your employer is among them, consider bringing your well-behaved pooch to work with you. Try to keep that first workday short and simple to avoid overstimulating your pup, and have some high-value treats or activities. Give your dog a spot such as a crate or comfy cushion, and train them to go there on command. Be sure to walk your pup regularly, too, to avoid the risk of smelly (and embarrassing!) surprises in the workplace, and encourage good leash manners in stairwells, elevators, and other confined spaces.

While it might sound like a lot of work to bring your dog to work, the payoffs can be extensive, with a stronger connection between the two of you and a less stressful work environment.

Back-to-School for Dogs: Doggy Daycare

Whether your dog is struggling to adapt to the new routine or just needs more stimulation and socialization than you can offer, consider doggy daycare. Playful Pack dog daycare can help you embrace the best of both worlds. While your family is busy with school, work, or other activities, your dog can still enjoy an active, engaged lifestyle.

At Playful Pack, we offer all-day daycare as well as dog boarding. Our facilities feature equipment designed especially for dogs in a cage-free atmosphere designed to get them up and moving and mentally and physically stimulated. We’ve got cozy furniture and quiet rooms for downtime and a dog-loving staff to keep things fun and exciting with an ever-changing list of special activities and games. Your dog will have ample exercise and great socialization opportunities while here and will come home tired out and ready to cuddle. Find your pack at Playful Pack today! Call to schedule your pup's free evaluation today!