With the kids home during the summer, your pets have enjoyed having people around more. More play time, more noise, more snuggles! Back to school time has a different meaning to students, teachers, parents and even the family pets. All of a sudden, with everyone gone during the day, it will be much quieter and they will spend long hours alone at home.
Dogs are by nature pack animals and can become stressed if they feel like they have been left behind. They also love routine which will change dramatically once school starts. Here are some things to think about as the school year begins.
Create a new routine and stick to it- With school starting, routines will certainly change. Try to maintain your pets routine- especially at mealtimes and potty breaks- as much as you can. Don't forget about the midday walks or potty breaks.
Create calmness. Don't make a big fuss leaving and coming home. It's best to leave your pet alone 10-15 minutes before you leave and just calmly leave. When coming home, have your pet sit and wait as you get in the door and put your things away. This will help relieve the pets stress when you come and go.
Leave toys or food puzzle games out for them. This will help keep them occupied while everyone is gone.
A midday walk can do wonders for your pet. A dog walker or pet sitter can be a great help to give them exercise and reduce the boredom while you and the kids are away. Having someone check on your pet during the day will also help relieve the stress you have about leaving your pet! Getting a good report with a picture can brighten up your day!
Make sure school supplies are out of reach of your pet. They can be a choking hazard or have harmful chemicals like crayons, play-doh or glue.
In the evenings, give your pet lots of hugs and some play time. An evening walk or throwing a ball in the backyard can give your pets the attention they want and deserve.