Help Your Dog With His Back-To-School Blues

September 15, 2021 | We Care | Tips from Sarah Clarkson

It is September and fall is right around the corner!  Autumn brings a lot of changes… both for you, and your favorite four-legged friend. 

Many kids are headed back to school just as lots of businesses are welcoming employees back to the office after months of working remotely.  If your dog is anything like ours, she has gotten really used to having people around all.the.time!  This fall might mean a big transition for your dog – and you can help her readjust to having more time by herself again.  Here are some ways you can help your dog as the summer fades away:


Boredom breeds disaster when it comes to dog behavior.  When you are not physically present to entertain your dog, her brain still needs engagement and stimulation.  Luckily, there are great puzzle toys that can help your dog pass the hours you are away.  All dogs can benefit from the challenges interactive puzzle toys offer.  Veterinarians and dog trainers explain that giving a dog a task to solve can strengthen a dog’s mental capabilities.  Some of our favorite puzzle toys are:

  • Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball This hard plastic, food-dispensing toy keeps dogs mentally and physically active while they learn to roll the ball to get treats to fall out.  You can adjust the difficulty level and customize it using your dog’s favorite treats or kibble.
  • Nina Ottosson’s Dog Worker Green Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy This Dog Brick interactive puzzle includes obstacles and combinations of steps that keep dogs mentally stimulated as they search and sniff out treats.
  • Kong – Extreme Dog Toy This classic, stuffable Kong can be filled with kibble, peanut butter, or your dog’s favorite treats.  It can even be frozen for an additional challenge for your dog.  Kong encourages healthy play and satisfies instinctual needs like chewing.

This fall might mean a big transition for your dog – and you can help her readjust to having more time by herself again.”


Activities are picking up in frequency and everyone heading out of the house!  Without careful planning, your dog may suffer from a reduction in exercise and outside time.  Unfortunately, less exercise, combined with extended time alone can result in an increase in stress and anxiety, destructive behavior, and weight gain. Tips for keeping your dog fit and happy are:

  • Find time to walk.  Plan 30 minutes into the start and end of your day to walk, jog, play fetch, or do training exercises with your dog.
  • Hire a dog walker.  If your budget allows, hire a trusted dog walker to visit your home.  A pet-walking service will engage with your dog during your long, extended absences.  It can give your dog much-needed mid-day exercise, as well as necessary bathroom relief!
  • Check out Doggie-Daycares in your area.  Ever heard the expression “dog-tired”?  After spending just a few hours at a safe, reputable, doggie daycare, your dog will be mentally and physically exhausted.  In addition to all the exercise running with a pack will give her, she will also receive the benefits of socializing with other dogs in a supervised setting.

Finally, try to help your dog with her “back-to-school” transition by easing into a new routine. Be patient as she adjusts to her new norm, and get creative with the time you do have together. Give her extra love, attention – and exercise – when you are home!  

sad dog misses family

Photo by Dina Nasyrova from Pexels

If you enjoyed this post, you should read The Great Crate: Providing Safety and Comfort for Our Older Dog here.

How will you help your dog transition as the kids head back to school?  Drop us a note!

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