Dog Wearing Glass Reading Books Do you know what your dog and cat are going to do when you go back to school? School is no place for dogs, cats, bunnies or guinea pigs and it is that time again. It happens every year. Are you ready? Are your pets ready for you to go back to school? 


The things we do in preparation for leaving the house do not go unnoticed by our pets. Jingling keys, calling the kids, grabbing a purse or cell phone - all are cues to our pets that they are about to be left alone.

Many families adopt a pet during the summer months because it provides the opportunity to spend the extra time needed for training and bonding with their new family member. Puppies and kittens will often develop lifelong emotional bonds with their new owners during this time.

As a result, the change in routine when children return to school can be confusing to a new family pet. Instead of going for walks and playing in the yard, their companions suddenly don backpacks and head out the door without them. Then they will spend the day all alone. The quiet may sound like heaven if you are a busy parent, but for our pets, it is confusing and lonely.

If your pet is used to lots of attention in the morning, give it to them when you first wake up then go about your business getting ready for school. A quick "See you later!" is just what your pet needs to relax and wait for your return.

Adding 30 minutes of activity or playtime in the morning can be a great break for pet parents and pets in the midst of the morning rush and is a great way to start the day.

Pets are creatures of habit and it is important to establish clear rules and a set schedule to ensure they will be happy and well adjusted. This is especially true of dogs, because they tend to depend on their owner's attention more so than cats. Do not make a big deal about your leaving. If you get emotional about leaving your pets behind, they will pick up on it and get anxious too.

If your pet tends to be upset when you leave, you might take an old T-shirt and put it with your pet in its kennel or bed. Your dog will be able to take comfort in your familiar smell. If your pet is a chewer, though, this may not be the best idea.

While it is a good idea to get your pets used to not having kids around during the day, that doesn’t mean they need to be removed from your pet’s day-to-day lifestyle entirely. Include the kids in training and those early morning walks to help maintain their relationship with your pet. Having an opportunity to socialize is important for your pet, and doing so with other pets at a park or daycare facility will allow them to get the attention they’re used to from other four-legged friends. Just be sure to visit outdoor areas that are fenced in and secure for pet playtime.

Better yet, enroll in obedience classes that the whole family can attend. Taking your pet to class with the entire family can be fun and educational. They can practice what they learn at class by working with their pet every day after school, kind of like helping their pet with his or her homework.

Millions of pets can feel abandoned, sad and unable to cope - and they look for ways to lash out. For those whose pets have more serious problems, other more expensive options include pet sitters, dog walkers and doggy day camp.

AVOID ANXIETY

Ask yourself if your pet is a “Velcro pet”. A Velcro pet is one that is seemingly not happy unless physically attached to a family member. Does your pet whimper when a family member is out of sight? Does your pet always have to be physically touching someone? Does your pet cry when you leave the house? Does your pet shadow family members constantly? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a Velcro pet. While these behaviors can be endearing and flattering, they can also be an early warning sign of separation anxiety.

Of the nation's 80 million dogs, nearly 20 percent have separation anxiety, said Dr. Nick Dodman of Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts. Some 70 percent of dogs with separation anxiety will bark, howl or whine; 60 percent will destroy something, such as scratched doors, damaged blinds or torn curtains; and a third are so have accidents.

Side effects for anxious dogs don't stop at whimpering. Some dogs refuse to eat when their owners are gone. Nearly half the anxious dogs have noise phobias, so if a storm hits while they are in an empty house, they can panic.

Start teaching your pet the coping skills needed to self-soothe when alone. Teach your pet how to go to his or her crate or bed, and stay there using “place” or “stay” commands. Give your pet a mentally stimulating toy like a food puzzle or stuffed toy to keep their mind occupied while alone. If you suspect your pet already has separation anxiety, or need some help teaching the commands, please consult with a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.


TOYS AND TREATS

Give your pet one of their favorite toys or treats and the excitement of getting them before you leave will help to alleviate possible fears of abandonment. Provide these special treats and toys before the children leave for school each morning. Do not give these treats at any other times. This will help your pet associate the routine of leaving for school with the anticipation of something interesting, fun, and delicious. Pets love variety when it comes to toys. Buying a few new toys can help them stay entertained and active even when their human companions are gone for the day.

Dogs and cats will both benefit from some new interactive toys that are safe for play without supervision. Food puzzles or even hiding treats around the house will give them some foraging fun.

GIVE THEM A PLACE TO RELAX

Keep your pets off the furniture, or do your very best to encourage it, by getting them a new cozy bed to lounge in while you’re away for the day. Consider a smaller bed if they’re crate-bound or a more deluxe sleeper if you have the room to fit it. Just don’t forget a nice, round bed for the cat to curl up in, too!

 

KEEP CATS BUSY TOO

Although they don’t always demand as much attention or require a specific schedule as our dogs, long days can impact cats too. Keep yours happy and active with a variety of fun toys to follow and chase or puzzles that dispense treats.


You may think that this change won’t affect a cat, but that’s not the case. If your cat is used to cuddling in bed, then hanging around you well into the morning, playing with the kids in the afternoon, and so on, schedule changes will affect her too. Try spending more time with your cat early in the morning and in the evening to help her adjust to the change in interactive time as well.

 

Cat Asleep on Top of Book

 

"21 TIPS" To Ease Your Pets' Back-To-School Blues

 

  1. Start the days earlier and feed your pets one of their main meals at this time, as they will be more likely to sleep throughout the day.
  2. Schedule play times at roughly the same time the kids will be arriving home from school. When school starts, keep this ritual in place. Pets are much less likely to mope throughout the day if they have something to look forward to later.
  3. Plan fun after school activities for your children to do for and with their pet.
  4. Build a cat tree.
  5. Plan a family game of soccer or go for a hike together.
  6. Encourage children to spend quiet time reading out loud to their pets and recording it so it can be played back while the animal is home alone.
  7. Create a daily routine that ensures your children and pets will continue to spend quality time together.
  8. Exercise and play in the morning before they leave the house.
  9. Extra attention and play when they get home from school
  10. Exercise and “family time” in the evening.
  11. An evening stroll in the park.
  12. A weekend picnic
  13. A special weeknight brushing can help provide your pets the attention they crave (and deserve).
  14. Plan evening and weekend activities that include them.
  15. Make your departure a happy time with toys and treats.
  16. Create a place in the house where your pet feels safe.
  17. Don't indulge behavior with baby talk or sympathy.
  18. Build in an extra hour of morning time with your pet before everyone leaves for the day.
  19. Providing plenty of exercise before leaving your pet alone to prevent any unwanted behaviors. More often than not, a tired pet is a good pet.
  20. If you are bringing in a dog walker, have them stop by while you’re home so your pet can get used to them.
  21. Don’t make a big deal of leaving in the morning – if it’s not a big deal for you, it won’t be as big a deal for your pets.

Take the time to get your pets ready for back to school, and they won’t be quite so lonely. And remember to spend quality time with your furry friends when you get home from school!

Remind your children that even though their schedules are now busier, they cannot forget about their furry best friends. This not only ensures your pets get the attention and love they deserve, but it will help your children learn how to be responsible and caring pet owners. Your pets cannot tell you when they are lonely or bored. So it is up to you to make their lives happy.

Above all, make sure your furry loved one knows he or she is loved and everything will be fine!

If you are concerned about how your pet might behave when left alone, check out the “ Eyenimal Petcam”, it’s the essential device of the owner who wants to know everything about the behavior of their pet.

 

You can pick up all things pet at Texas Pet Depot.

 

Are you ready for the kids to go back to school?

What kind of toys do your pets love best?

What are your pets favorite treats?

Tell us below in the comments!