Summer brings lazy days, looser schedules and oftentimes, more people hanging out at home. Your pet is probably enjoying this low-key time (not to mention the extra snuggles!) just as much as you! With school on the horizon, it’s important to help your pet reacclimate to “normal” life along with your kiddos. Here are some simple ways to ensure the daily routine is up to sniff (pun intended).
Stick to a Routine
Just like humans, furry family members like the security and comfort of a routine they can count on. During the summer, your pet may have had extra playtime or been in the backyard more than usual. As the school year begins, make sure walks and meals are predictable and consistent so your pet can anticipate them at the same time of day. If you put your pet in a crate when you leave, make sure to re-introduce that routine so they remember that they go in when you go out.
Delegate Pet Chores
Assigning your kids pet-related jobs will lighten your load while also giving them a sense of responsibility. Preschoolers can be in charge of making sure there’s fresh water in the dish. Older kids can learn to scoop dog food and/or poop outside! If you have a fenced-in yard, little ones can safely let the dog out, too. Pro tip: make an easily accessible sign that family members can use to check off if they’ve completed their daily feeding/walking tasks. This helps to avoid confusion over whether the dog’s still waiting to go out or chow down!
Enlist the Experts!
Hire a dog walker or sign up for doggy daycare if your pet needs caretaking when no one’s home. Many pets enjoy the social interaction of human and furry friends! You can often get great recommendations on sitters, groomers and pet care from neighbors.
Get Some Me-Time (with Your Pup!)
Over the summer months, your dog’s walk schedule was probably… less scheduled. Start getting back to regular walk times a bit before regular life resumes. For starters, some like to wake up earlier than their kids to take their dog on a peaceful morning walk. You both will enjoy the exercise and quiet time before the morning frenzy begins!
Give Lots of Love
No matter what busy days may bring, make sure you always take some time for belly rubs, games of fetch, and couch snuggles. Pet bonding will be the easiest, most lovable thing on your to-do list.