By Hollie Harris
With school returning next week for most, Dogs Queensland is reminding families to prepare their pet for when the busy household quietens with children back at school and parents back at their nine to five.
Dogs Queensland general manager Rob Harrison said a change in routine could be confusing for dogs, especially new pets, that have spent the summer months in a full house.
“It is important for owners to ensure their dogs receive enough attention and exercise all year round, but especially when life circumstances change,” he said.
“Establishing a reliable routine with your dog will alleviate stress and help them cope with change.
“Families should work together to set and follow a daily routine that includes feeding, walks and play at approximately the same time every day to ensure a smooth transition.”
To help owners better address their pet’s needs, Dogs Queensland is offering some tips for busy families with dogs for a successful start to 2018.
Morning and evening exercise: Remember to take the dog out for exercise in the morning and evening. This will help relieve any extra energy the dog may have so they are less likely to misbehave when you are out of the house.
Leaving home: When you are getting ready to go out, don’t be emotional otherwise your dog is more likely to be upset. Instead, distract them with a special toy or a treat. In some cases, for anxious dogs, leaving the TV or radio on in the background can ease their anxiety while you are away.
Returning home: When you return home from work, don’t make a fuss or your dog will think you have been gone for an extended period. The best thing to do is ignore them when you first come in the door, then later take them outside for a bathroom break.
Midday break: If possible, schedule someone to take your dog out for exercise around midday for fresh air. Consider asking a family member, a neighbour or hiring a dog walker.
“Some simple routine steps can help dogs cope when the family is absent,” Rob said.