Whether it’s school starting in the fall, a new job, or another big life change, shifting your household’s schedule can be hard on your dog.
Changes to meals, walks, and playtime can leave your dog anxious and prone to accidents, excessive vocalization, and destructive behaviors.
We’ve got some great tips for helping you get through transition periods with ease, thanks to certified (and celebrity!) dog trainer, Nicole Ellis. Here she is with her beloved dog, Maggie, who knows over 100 commands and also works as a therapy dog and actor.
Nicole belongs to Rover’s Dog People panel of professional trainers, veterinarians, and dog lifestyle experts.
How to help your dog transition to a new schedule
1. Shift the schedule in smaller increments.
Practice leaving the house for a few hours a day, building up in duration as you approach the date of the new schedule. This will help your pup get acclimated to being home alone.
We’ve got a world of great tips for lonely dogs right here.
2. Add more potty breaks when you can.
3. Practice calm departures to help ease separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety takes a lot of time and patience to conquer. We’ve got a comprehensive 3-part guide to helping dogs with separation issues.
4. Burn off excess energy with more frequent or longer walks or play sessions.
Not sure how much exercise your dog needs? We’ve got you covered here. Adding mental challenge to physical challenge is a great way to wear out a hyper dog. Adding in some short training sessions to your walk or playtime will really get your dog tired and relaxed.
5. When home alone, leave your dog some puzzle toys to hold her attention.
6. Consider crate training your dog, or limiting her access to the house to a smaller area.
7. Get some help! A Rover drop-in visit or extra dog walk can work wonders
Doggie daycare allows your dog to run, play and nap with others. It’s a great way to let your pup burn off that extra energy, stay active and fit, and come home tired just in time for the kids to return home from school. Alternatively, book a Rover sitter to add some variety to your dog’s life with drop-in visits or extra walks.