How Do I Keep My Dog Busy Now that the Kids Are Back in School
Summer is coming to an end, and the back-to-school blues aren’t just affecting your children. Your dog has had weeks on end of unlimited play time, snuggles and treats and now their little companion is going to be gone all day. This will undoubtedly leave them feeling restless and a little lonely but there are a few ways you can help alleviate their boredom and ensure your dog is kept busy now that the kids are back in school.
- Hire a Pet Sitter
Hiring a pet sitter can be a great way to keep your dog occupied now that the kids are back to school. If you can’t be home with your pooch all day, a pet sitter will come into your home and at a minimum take your dog for a walk. Many pet sitting services also offer options for the sitter to have play time with your dog, and specific instructions can be left so that they can do things to give your dogs some comfort, such as playing with a certain toy or just giving them some cuddles and affection.
- Leave a KONG toy stuffed with peanut butter
Another great option is to leave a KONG chew toy filled with peanut butter for your dog to play with while they’re home alone. Peanut butter doesn’t spoil the way a lot of other foods or treats do and is sure to keep your dog occupied for at least a few hours. If you live in a household that needs to be nut-free, you can stuff the KONG with other dog-safe foods such as canned pumpkin, cream cheese, and of course their favorite dog treats. Pro tip: pre-stuff the KONGs ahead of time and stick them in the freezer – It will take a lot longer for your dog to get the good stuff out and will keep them occupied for longer. Be sure you clean the toy every day and check the area where to dog was playing with the toy for any food that may have come out. It’s best not to leave this overnight as it can attract ants or mice.
- Install a treat camera
Installing a treat camera is a great idea if you want to be able to keep an eye on your dog when you’re away from the house and the kids are at school. There are a huge variety of different cameras out there. Some are two-way, where you can see your dog and they can see you. There are even ones that have motion and sound detection and can tell if your dog is running, barking, or getting on the furniture. Most cameras on the market are super easy to use and are simply connected to your Wi-Fi controlled via an app on your smartphone.
- Get another dog (but not a puppy)
Now, this one may seem a little extreme, but there are a ton of benefits to getting a second dog. Dogs are pack animals who have learned to live with humans as their pack members, but humans often leave the house and thus leave a member of the pack behind. With another dog in the house, the pack is still partially intact and can ease some of the separation anxiety your dog may experience otherwise. Another dog will also give them someone to play with when you or the kids are not there, and that’s always a good thing.
These are just a few ways that you can keep your pup occupied now that school is back in session and the house is empty most of the day. It’s always a good idea to test out a few ideas and see what would work best for your household.