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Back to School! – Wait, for Pets too?

A dog ready to go back to school

Summer holidays are almost over, and while some of you are wishing it can’t come sooner (we hear you parents!), it’s not only the kids who aren’t looking forward to it. Once kids go back to school, or even adults going back to work, dogs can suddenly find it very hard to be on their own. Putting in a little bit of preparation can set everyone up for success…

Adjust your routine

If your holiday routine has been different to what it will be like when everyone is back at school and work, start adjusting it now. Walk, feed, and play times should gradually go back to what they will be during the school term.

Calm time

Make sure your dog has calm, quiet time during the day where they aren’t disturbed. This will help them get used to resting while you are away during the day.

Supercharge your enrichment

Sure, everyone says to use enrichment, but there are certain ways to make sure this works for you and your dog. Just chucking out some toys into the yard when you leave may be counterproductive.
First, make sure your dog knows how to use the toys you have and can do so relatively easily and without stress. Enrichment isn’t about the time it takes to access food or use the toy, it’s about the enjoyment your pets get out of it. A toy that is too hard will often see a dog either leaving it and not trying or destroying it out of frustration. Practice to make sure you dog can use the toys safely and effectively and rotate them to keep it interesting.

Check out our range of boredom busters here.


Lastly, set up some simple monitoring devices to make sure you pet isn’t getting distressed when left alone. This way, you can address any problems sooner rather than later.


If you got a new puppy over the holidays and are now going to be leaving it for longer periods of time, it can often be a good idea to ask some friends or family to visit during the day to break up the time you are away.

Some other tips for leaving a puppy that might be helpful include;

  • Ensure your puppy has a safe space to be left. Make sure they are use to the area and you have practiced calm time in that area.
  • Practice very short (under 1 minute!) absences to start with then gradually build it up.
  • Monitor your puppy using cameras/videos.

Hopefully these tips will help you make a smooth transition to school/work time. If you have any concerns or are still having trouble please contact a qualified trainer for more assistance.

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