Back to School Blues
Pet Insurance Australia are issuing a timely reminder to pet owners about back to school blues and boredom in pets as the school holidays come to an end.
“For many beloved pets around Australia, the endless summer days of hanging out with the family are about to be restricted to after school and weekends,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia warns. “So, it’s important to do some planning for how your loveable canine companion will spend their days.”
Boredom in dogs is one of the biggest concerns to those in the pet industry, with many of the behaviour exhibited being some of the main reasons that cause stress and the breakdown of that special bond between owners and dogs.
“It’s no surprise, for many pet shelters, to hear of the reasons that some dogs are given up for adoption is for behaviours that stem direct from being bored,” Crighton says. “However, with a few simple techniques you can prevent many of these frustrating behaviours developing.”
PIA is quick to remind readers that if your dog’s symptoms get worst it is paramount you seek professional help.
“Some dogs can develop a full-blown Separation Anxiety response that will need professional intervention from a dog trainer and/or veterinarian.”
TIPS TO PREVENT BOREDOM:
- Have a routine and stick to it regardless of the weather
- Adequately exercise your dog depending on their breed requirements
- Train your dog
- Give your dog a ‘job’ to do
- Enrich their environment
- Think like a dog!
“Routines, training and exercise are paramount in preventing boredom,” Crighton says. “This can be as simple as ensuring that your dog is walked every morning and then enjoying a good off-leash run in the evening.”
Other advice includes rotating toys daily and utilising toys such as puzzle treatballs.
“You can get super creative when developing a ‘job’ for your dog to do when you are not at home,” she recommends. “If you are using toys, have a decent selection of home-alone toys and remove them when you get home. Rotate these daily so you create a ‘excitement’ in your dog when you are leaving.”
Some owners also allow their dogs to rip up boxes or develop a quick hide-and-seek game with treats in the yard or in a sandpit.
“As a pet owner I personally like to ensure my dog has a job to do, something to chew, and something to snuggle,” Crighton smiles. “This alongside a good brisk morning walk on-leash flexes his brains and his muscles.”
Pet Insurance Australia also advises not over-running dogs that are prone to hyperactivity or two-dog dwelling homes during the morning, before you leave for work.
“For some dogs this is OK, however for others it can actually hype them up for a good day of digging in the yard,” Crighton says. “So, when considering your ‘beat the school blues’ routine it’s important to really look at what works best to give your dog some exercise and also set them up for a nice calm day alone. This could mean a quick training session before you leave for work, or a brisk walk around the block.”