Is Virtual School Affecting Your Dog’s Walking Schedule?
Other than technical glitches with their devices or Internet access, most kids have gotten the hang of their virtual school routines. They sit behind computers, learning as well as they can given the circumstances, which means less time for their furry best friends. Many people have admitted to having less time for their dogs now work and school have normalized a bit. How is your dog taking these changes?
It’s a fact that most kids thrive with structure- and so do dogs. Your kids have their set routines once again, now that virtual school has started… So what have you done for your dogs? They also thrive off of structure, and a new schedule where the kids aren’t as interactive with them means they get less exercise and attention.
Since dogs can’t understand why their schedules have changed, it’s important to ease them into any changes rather than just completely switch up their lives from one day to the next. This can be easier said than done when you’re so busy, but transitioning them is worth the effort.
How to ease your dogs into their new schedules:
Develop a positive association with school for your pets. Every time your kids need to have quiet time for school, offer your dog a puzzle toy stuffed with food that will take him at least 20 to 30 minutes to finish. For example, try giving your dog a KONG® stuffed with something really tasty, like low-fat cream cheese, spray cheese or low-fat peanut butter, frozen banana and cottage cheese, or canned dog food and kibble. A KONG can even be frozen so that getting all the food out takes even more of your dog’s time.
Help them practice enjoying alone time. Practice leaving them alone for short periods of time at first- maybe with you going to the mailbox, or going to the bathroom. Take a short trip to the store without them and don’t make a big deal when you get back.
Make sure their feeding, walking, and bedtimes are consistent so they feel secure and comfortable in their schedule.
How to schedule walks for your dogs:
Dogs need their exercise and enrichment. Some ways to provide a more “normal” school day for your kids and your pup could be:
- Waking up earlier to take your dog out for a morning walk or for playtime in the backyard if you have one.
- Keeping your pup entertained with chews or interactive toys while class is in session.
- Setting aside times for your interaction with your pup during the kids’ lunch break. You could even snack on the go with them while walking your pup!
- Make dog-related activities part of the “after-school” activities at home instead of plopping down in front of Netflix or gaming.
- Hire an Equipaws dog walker or runner to come in on the days you absolutely don’t have time!
How has virtual school affected you and your pets? Let us know in the comments!