Kids and School – What About Fido?
It’s that time of year – kids are heading back to school in droves and that’s making for some very anxious pets. I’m not saying that some animals won’t feel a huge sense of relief as they watch the young ones walk out the door, particularly the family cat who can now resume her 18 hours of sleep each day. But, for many animals the stress can cause everything from behavior problems to depression.
To help your pet more easily adjust to long days without anyone to play with, we’ve come up with a few ideas that may or may not help.
Don’t make leaving the house a big deal. Practice it a few times each day. Try out a few dress rehearsals with the kids. Get them ready for school in the morning, then walk out the door in the same way they would if they were already in school. Drive everyone around the block, then come into the house the same way you plan to come in after school starts. It will help Fido and Fluffy get used to a routine, and it will help prepare your kids for the upcoming school days as well.
Don’t let your pets gets bored. That’s when destructive behavior occurs. Animals do sleep quite a bit during the day, but like us – they want something to do when they wake up. Try picking up a few “Smart toys” – we have loads of suggestions on PetsWeekly. They have them for both dogs and cats, and we’ve reviewed a lot of them online.
Provide a place where your dog and cats feel comfortable. It could be an old box or a shelf way high up for your cat, or a doghouse or crate for your dog. Generally, pets prefer places that are cool (because it’s hot out), dark (because they can hide themselves more effectively) and secure (so it won’t trap them). Everyone’s pets are different on what they prefer.
Be sure to provide a place for your pets, no matter what the species, to get away from one another. Sometimes we all need a little alone time and our animals are no different. It’s also important to provide escape routes where the other species can’t reach.
It’s the blood of life so be sure your pet has plenty of it.
Your pet is going to be well-rested and ready for a potty break and playtime. Be sure to include this critical time with your pet in your daily plans. Throw the bottle, go for a walk, brush them and give them a little extra pampering. Not only will it relax and help you unwind, your pet will learn to not mind it so much when you’re away.