How to remove post-holiday depression from your dog

How to remove post-holiday depression from your dog

Returning from vacation is hard for people and animals. It is normal for your dog to appear sadder than usual the first few days back home. Nobody likes to go back to the routine, especially if it means spending more time alone.

During the holiday period our dogs are accompanied for most of the day. Dog owners have more free time and take the opportunity to enjoy it with their pets. The walks get longer, they accompany us everywhere and we enjoy them many hours a day.

When the summer ends and we have to go home, our animals know that we are back in the routine. This implies that their family members start their usual  hours and lose dedication to their pets.

Work schedules and daily chores keep dogs on a stricter schedule. We can no longer take them out for a walk at any time of the day, nor can they accompany us to carry out daily actions. From now on they will return to their departures at peak times, at least from Monday to Friday. This change requires an adaptation process in the dog.

To prevent our dog from becoming depressed or going through a process of discouragement, we must prepare him for the return home. The best way to remove post-vacation depression in dogs is to gradually adapt to their new routines. We must begin to organize the schedules before returning from vacation, so that the animal will gradually get used to it.

We are going to see some tips that will be very useful for our dog to have a very good return home. This way we will ensure that you do not have post-vacation depression and your condition is always optimal.

dog in christmas

Symptoms of Depression in Dogs

Dogs show very clear symptoms of depression. Among the most prominent are: apathy, lack of appetite, inactivity, sleep a lot or do not play. It is also noted that they are not so affectionate, have behavioral changes or show a sad and dejected attitude.

If the dog shows a sudden change in behavior, it may be beginning to go through a process of depression. The best thing in these cases is to catch it in time and avoid spending a long time in that state.

A change in behavior in the dog can also indicate a disease, so we must go to the vet.

How to remove post-vacation depression in dogs?

First of all we must take our dog to the vet, so they can check what is wrong. If the vet tells us that the dog has a low mood, we should try to cheer him up in the best possible way.

There is nothing more beautiful than the happiness that a dog gives inside a home. So when a dog changes its behavior and becomes more listless, we notice it. If we have already identified that our dog has post-vacation depression, we must try to solve it quickly. The specialists will give us guidelines to be able to treat our dog and solve the problem. But we can follow some tips that will help to remove the discouragement of the dog.

To begin we must see if our dog has all the physical and emotional needs covered. We must check that he has a good diet, walks and daily exercise. As well as a good dose of affection and dedication during each day.

dog in christmas (2)

In cases of post-vacation depression it is very important that the dog notices a lot of attention on our part. During the holidays we dedicate a lot of time to them, so when they return they continue to demand the same attention.

In order to avoid depression we must do fun and stimulating activities and games with him. This way you will focus your attention on something else and you will be distracted. We have to take time to be able to enjoy it with our pet, it must perceive protection and care.

The animal should not feel alone at home, we must accustom it to the routine of the work stage. It is important that they have toys at home so that when they are alone they can entertain themselves. This way the time they spend at home will pass faster and they will have fun.

If the case is very serious, some veterinarians may send specific drugs to cure the dog’s condition. Although it is best to try to improve the condition of the dog through changes in their daily routines. Something that always helps is trying to dedicate as much time as possible to our pet. In addition, we must take advantage of the moments in which we are at home to play with them and enjoy recreational activities.

dog looking curios

Tips to avoid post-vacation depression

To prevent our dog from suffering from depression when returning from vacation, it is best to plan a routine. It is very important that this is the closest thing to the one you will have throughout the year. In this way the dog will not appreciate much the changes from one era to another.

Plan schedules

We will start with the schedules, since it is one of the most important things when it comes to organizing ourselves. It is essential that the animal return to the usual hours that it has throughout the year.

The most important moments for a dog are food and outings to relieve themselves. Therefore these actions are the first that we must program to start a good routine.

There are dogs that do not have a set meal schedule, but have food in the feeder all the time. In this case it is not necessary to establish a specific schedule. But animals that are used to a schedule have to go back to their daily meal routine.

On the other hand, the departure time is very important. The dog must go outside at least 3 times a day to relieve itself. It is also important that the dog go for a walk and exercise, as this releases stress and relaxes.

The dog should have toys and accessories for the time spent alone at home, so it will pass faster. In this way, you enjoy the time you spend at home even when you are alone. Thus, we will ensure that this process is not so traumatic for the dog.

dog food bowl

Meal hours

You have to plan the time of the dog’s meals, since we are not at home for so long, we must schedule when it will eat. During vacation time your pet has eaten more than usual and in a disorderly way.

Now is the time to distribute your meal schedule and establish how many times you should eat per day. The easiest way is to distribute the meals in smaller portions more times a day. This way, you will not have the feeling of going without eating for a long time.

The best thing would be to be able to put food on him at times when you can be with him. For example: put a portion of food at breakfast, another at lunch and another at dinner. If you are not going to eat at home, you can leave the food in his feeder. If the dog gets used to eating food at that time, it will already be acquiring a routine.

It is important to give a prize during a specific moment, so that you feel rewarded and happy.

Departure schedule

Another of the most important points when planning a dog is its departure time. Your pet needs to go outside at least 3 times a day to fulfill its needs. Dogs need to exercise outdoors and take long walks.

Due to working hours, the most common time to take the dog out is before we go to work or on our return. There are times when the animal can only go out twice because our workday has held us back longer. We should try to make this happen only rarely.

The dog should go for a walk first thing in the morning, so he can relieve himself and play around a bit. In this way, you are calm and encouraged to spend a few hours alone at home.

If you are going to eat at home, you should take him out for a walk as soon as you arrive or before leaving again. The dog has been alone all morning and will be eager to go out again.

And finally, late afternoon is the perfect time to take the last walk before going to sleep. This walk is usually the longest, we can take advantage of it for the dog to jump, run and play outdoors. This way you will release all your energy and will be perfect to sleep through the night.

The schedule we recommend is to apply it during the weekdays, or the working day. On weekends, if we can enjoy our dog for longer, they usually change a bit. The important thing is that we establish a plan so that our pet acquires some habits and feels safe.


Go to the vet

When we return from vacation, we must take our dog for a general check-up at the vet. It is important that they check that you do not have parasites and that you are in good health.

If our vacations have been in the countryside, we have a greater chance that our pet has caught parasites. If you have been on the beach and have bathed in sea water, you have to watch your skin. There are some dogs that can have minor irritations caused by sea water.

During the holiday period we follow some indications to prevent our dogs from having any problems. But it is advisable to perform a check-up to avoid possible surprise complications.

We must check that we have all the vaccines perfectly up to date. If not, we can put the pending vaccinations once we have finished the holidays.

dog grooming

Monitor the dog’s hygiene

Once at home we have to maintain the hygiene of the animal in perfect condition. To do this we must wash all their accessories: toys, beds, towels, necklaces, leashes, food accessories to avoid any bacteria.

It is very important to start a bathing routine to follow throughout the year. If you do it at home, remember that no more than a month should pass between baths. Each breed requires specific care, but washing is essential for good hygiene.

You have to check your pet’s nails and cut them so that he is comfortable. It is very important to keep an eye on him from time to time and cut them when necessary.

Most health problems in dogs can be caused by poor mouth care. Their mouths should be checked routinely and their teeth brushed. If you do it at home, when you see that the dog has some tartar, it is advisable to brush its teeth.

If you haven’t brushed your dog’s teeth, you can take him to the vet to have it done there. The important thing is to keep the dog’s mouth clean and healthy. In this way we will avoid future canine health problems.

Divyesh Patel