It is back to school time! With families spending more time focused on schoolwork and extracurricular activities, some pets, especially dogs, may experience stress due to the change in routine.

Dogs may become upset when separated from family members and spend more time alone at home, and dogs with separation anxiety often show signs of nervousness, destructive behavior or barking. 

Try some of these tips to help manage stress:

  • Have practice days with your family. This means you go through the motion of going to school by waking up early, packing lunch boxes, and leaving the house, but only leave for a short amount of time. This helps pets slowly start to be comfortable with the new routine. 
  • Schedule weekday enrichment activities for your pets, like going on walks or visits to a doggie daycare or dog park. (Don’t forget proper vaccines to keep them safe in public areas.)
  • When leaving your pet at home, help calm them by playing soothing sounds on your radio or giving them safe pet toys to play with. 
  • Make sure your pets have enough food and clean water before you leave each day.
  • When leaving the pet for more than a few hours, consider hiring a dog walker for bathroom breaks. You can find a pet sitter in your community by visiting