Back to school time is quite the routine change, getting up earlier than we did during the summer months and getting out the door to school and work for the day.This means changes for everyone including our pets!

Our four legged friends may have become adapt to having us home and at their beck and call whenever they need but what if your pet suffers separation anxiety? They cannot stand the thought of you being in the bathroom without waiting outside the door let alone have to wait paitently for you to return home at the end of the day.

Some dogs may react to their owners abscense by whining or worse, barking non-stop which can be troublesome if you have neighbours close by. They may become bored and destructive, watch those couch pillows. If you're lucky enough to have a dog who just stays quiet and relaxes while you're gone, kudos to you but for those of us with anxious pets Iams has some great tips to help relax fido before you head out the door.

  1. Skip the production - If your dog gives you the "sad eyes" when they hear you pick up your keys try to avoid showering them with love and affection to try and reassure them you'll be back. This may make things worse, instead a simple "See you later" and "Hi (dogs name)" when you return will do. This is sort of helping them stay calm by setting an example by leaving and returning in a  calm manner.
  2. Tire them out - a crisp morning walk in the park is good for anyone, especially your dog! If you are an extra early riser and have time to do so, take your dog for a walk and play a couple of rounds of fetch at the park. It's good for both of you plus you'll most likely have the park to yourself being it so early.
  3. Stimulate the mind - In the morning, instead of feeding your pet out of their ordinary bowl try one of those neat food dispensers you can get at most local pet stores. You're pet may spend a good portion of the day trying to figure out how to get the food to come out! You can also leave them toys, a bone to chew on or even leave the TV or radio on (low) for background noise destraction.
  4. Hire help - Doggy walkers and pet daycares are becoming more popular for those who don't mind paying for a pet sitter. They can keep your pets entertained, fed, walked and exercised for you and you don't have to worry about them for a couple of hours during your day thus relaxing their own anxiety.
  5. Practice patience - Dogs honestly think their owners are leaving forever, trust me I know all about this one. Our Zeus will whine and whine until my hubby comes home, he is his master and his best friend. In his eyes a trip to the corner store without him is the end of the world! Try to be patient with your pet who may not quite understand why you leave every day but with proper training and time will catch on that eventually you do come back at the end of the day.
That morning walk is always great but don't forget the most important part of your pets day, when you return. After dinner and the kids are tucked in hubby always takes his big Doberman Zeus out for a walk. They spend time together, Zeus gets his exercise and it helps tire him out for the night!

Thanks Iams for sharing these great tips for dog owners like us!
For more information about Iams and their pet products visit the website at www.iams.ca and interact on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/iams.

Disclosure: Posted by AME on behalf of Iams. Iams products coupons were exchanged for this post. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

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