Tips to help your dog adjust to your summer schedule

Most dogs are fairly adaptable creatures, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to make lifestyle changes as seamless as possible for them. Here’s how to help your pup adjust to your summer schedule.

Dogs thrive on routine. If your summer schedule tends to be quite a bit different than the rest of the year, it can really shake up your pup’s world! Whether you take him on longer walks in the summer months, or leave him home for longer stretches of time, it’s important to take steps to help him adjust. Here’s a few tips!

1. Change his feeding routine gradually

Longer days that may include carpooling the kids to summer camp could mean that your dog’s feeding time needs to be earlier or later. It’s okay to slowly establish a new feeding schedule for your dog, but don’t be haphazard about it. Plan how you will integrate your dog’s new feeding times into your summer days and make it consistent. If your dog is engaging in more activities because of the warmer weather, you might also want to chat with your vet about whether his nutritional requirements are different.

2. Introduce him to new visitors

The summer brings new guests and regular visitors – such as the gardener and/or pool maintenance workers – to your home. Always properly introduce your dog to these unfamiliar faces. This will make everyone more comfortable around one other as they go about their business.

3. Take advantage of the nice weather

Your schedule might be different, but your dog’s needs are the same! He still requires plenty of love and quality time in order to thrive. Use the longer days to bond and engage with your pup. See if you can fit in a few extra walks in the early morning and evening, and do your best to find dog-friendly summer activities to attend with your family. Don’t forget to bring along extra water and food for your pup!

4. Get the kids on board with your dog’s routine

Now that the kids are out of school, they’ll likely be spending a lot more time with your pup! Make sure they understand when your dog needs to eat and relieve himself so they can play a role in making sure his needs are met. If they like to feed him lots of treats, nip that in the bud to ensure he doesn’t gain too many extra pounds over the summer. Instead, show them how they can use low-calorie snacks to teach your pup some new tricks!

5. Give him quality alone time

Make sure your dog always has a safe haven to escape from all the summer fun and chaos. Place his dog bed in a quiet area in your home so he can retreat from the warm weather and visitors when it all becomes too much.

With a bit of preparation and consideration, your dog will adjust to your summer schedule without a hitch.

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Angela Marcus is a life-long, committed animal advocate. She conceived Get your pet in direct response to her experience first-hand with the challenges inherent in the animal sheltering system. Her background includes involvement in virtually every aspect of animal welfare. Angela has worked as a veterinary technician, a Forensic Case Coordinator for Pennsylvania’s largest Humane Law Enforcement team, a contributing presenter on the television channel Animal Planet, and as the Operations Director for the Pennsylvania SPCA. Angela holds a B.S. in Animal Biotechnology from Delaware Valley University and was born and raised in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania. She now lives in New Hope, Pennsylvania with her husband John, stepdaughter Ruby, son Leo and their rescue pets: five dogs, one cat and six chickens.