Holidays never seem to last as long as it takes to plan and pack for them. Sometimes it seems like you’ve only kicked back onto a sun lounger and then before you know it, it’s time to pack up again and prepare to face an full email inbox.
We’ve rounded up some failsafe tips to make this transition as smooth as possible for you and your dog – so let’s banish those back to work blues!
Who’s looking after your dog?
The ‘back to school / back to work’ routine can sneak up on you, easily becoming a crazy rush – especially if you’ve properly gotten yourself into holiday mode and especially if you’ve got kids to organise and motivate back into the morning routine.
Take a moment – in the inevitable rushing around of the first couple of weeks back – to think about who is going to look after your dog. If you’re struggling to find time in your back to work and school schedule, why not take the pressure off and find convenient local dog sitter or walker to help out?
Adjust your schedule
At the end of summer holidays, it doesn’t take long before the mornings and evenings become steadily darker – by roughly two minutes each day! So by the end of September, there’s almost two less hours of daylight to enjoy. This could affect your walking routines as some public parks lock their gates at dusk, so it’s worth adjusting your walks schedule or changing your routes.
Fun fact: did you know that mixing up your regular route can help keep your dog healthy? It’s good for their brains, keeping their noses and ears stimulated.
Even at the end of Christmas holidays, when the worst of the winter darkness is behind us, it’s a while until the long, light evenings of summer are here again. If you’re walking after dark and planning to let your dog off leash, why not consider getting a dog light to ensure you can keep sight of them?
Ease your dog back in
Holidays can be a highlight in a dog’s annual calendar. In the summer there’s (usually!) better weather, lighter evenings, and more people home from school and work to play with means more opportunities to get out and do some of this…
Winter holidays can be similarly brilliant for dogs – family and friends all back together means more humans to play with!
So when the holiday comes to an end, your dog might feel a bit of a shock to their system, especially if they are a rescue or prone to separation anxiety behaviours. read more about separation anxiety and some ideas on how it can be combatted.
Here are some ideas on helping your dog to transition smoothly from holiday season to resuming ‘business as usual’:
- Dogs creatures of routine, picking up on signals and cues from their human parent’s behaviour. So why not try and get your pooch back into ‘business as usual’ routine a few days before going back to work: for example, take your dog for a walk outside of office hours, even before you’re back to work.
- Re-familiarise your dog with their digs. If your dog has been away with you or with a sitter, help your dog settle back in. Most dogs will do this pretty quickly and naturally by themselves, but others may need some reassurance – why not reintroduce them to their beds, favourite toys, making sure they’re relaxed and rewarded for calm behaviour with plenty of “good boy” and cuddles.
- If you’re going to be away from your dog for a few hours when the ‘back to school’ schedule arrives, you might want to build up to it slowly. (We, along with the RSPCA, advise not to leave your dog alone for more than four hours.) It might seem counterintuitive to spend less time with your dog, but popping out for an hour or so without your dog could actually help to resettle them to the idea you aren’t going to be around quite as much.
Treat yourself (and your dog!) to something fun
This might seem counterintuitive – surely back to work means knuckling down to the serious business of, you know, work and routines? But the opposite is actually helpful. Including something fun in your first week back like going for a drink or dinner with friends, catching a movie, or a concert, will help keep the holiday fun vibes going. This can also be a reward yourself for making it through the first week back! And while you’re planning some fun, remember to make sure your dog is getting plenty of love, too why not find and book a dog sitter on DogBuddy.com.