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How to help your dog adjust to changes in your schedule

 by james on 04 Aug 2022 |
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We all experience changes in routine, but these can take a massive toll on our pets. Here are a few tips for helping your dog adjust.

How to help your dog adjust to changes in your schedule


Whether it’s returning to school or welcoming a new baby to the family, at some point we all experience a sudden shift in our daily routines. Many pet parents don’t think about how this will impact their dogs, but our companions are very sensitive to changes in our schedules. Here are a few tips for helping you pet cope with a change to your, and his, everyday life:

1. Make changes gradual when possible. Though this may not always be the case, sometimes you are able to ease yourself and your pet into a new routine. For example, if your dog is accustomed to morning walks, but you are about to start an earlier shift, begin adding evening activity each day before you must give up the morning session, gradually phasing out Fido’s AM exercise. Make changes as subtle as possible especially for pets with separation anxiety, who suffer when they are apart from their owners.

2. Stay calm. Dogs are masters at reading the room, so if you make a big deal over any changes, it will be a signal to your pet that he should react strongly, too. For example, if a family member is leaving for college, do not make a huge emotional display over saying goodbye in front of your dog. By staying calm and relaxed, you are demonstrating to your him that everything is OK.
 
3. Burn off excess energy. Adding physical and mental stimulation to your dog’s life can help distract him during a change in his routine. In addition to getting plenty of physical exercise and playtime, add some mentally stimulating aspects to Fido’s day, such as extra time spent practicing tricks. You can also leave your dog a puzzle feeder or other toys when you leave the house to occupy him while you are away, too.

4. Consider crate training. Dogs are natural den animals and crates can create a safe, secure home base for your pet. Once he is accustomed to his crate, your dog will see this as his place of retreat. Even if you do not crate train your pet, consider blocking off a portion of the house  while you are away to create a smaller, safe space for your pet. Of course, never leave your pet confined for long hours.

5. Do not forget about your pet. It is easy for new endeavors to take priority in our lives, so be mindful to not allow your relationship with your pet to suffer due to the distraction of a new job or family member. Ignoring our dogs will only lead to behavioral issues associated with a bored or stressed pet, so make time to play with your pet every day. Keep his walks and meal times as regular as possible, too, to help give Fido a sense of security.

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