Back to School Pet Tips

Most families adopt their pets during the summertime of the year, giving your children and you months to establish a wonderful relationship with your pets. However, school time is coming up, and when that comes your children will not have all the time they once had to dedicate to playing with your pets. This sudden shift in attention may be stressing towards your dog or cat, so its best you set up a schedule with your family to dedicate to your pet to help them get the attention they need.

Walks and Recreation

One of the best routines to set up with your kids and your dogs is actually quite simple. Make sure your pet has a “special toy” that they play with during the day, and when your children get home put it away, afterwards your children should walk the dog to a certain spot for housebreaking, and even off the property. Do this every chance you get to give the dog something to look forward to. Putting the toy away when your kids get home is a good idea because that way it remains the “special” toy.

Scavenger Hunts and Games

Hide special treats around the house when you are gone for your cat or dog to find. This will keep them occupied while you are away, and you can still reward them for good behavior. A good treat for dogs is rubber kongs with cream cheese stuffed inside them, a good idea is freezing it so it stays long lasting for your pet. As for cats, you can buy little cat treats from any store that sells pet related items. Right when your children get home from school is a wonderful time for your kids to set up a game of fetch with your dog(s), this gives your pets something to look forward to and it also helps your kid relax and have some fun after a long day of school. Set this up as a routine maybe in conjunction with walks and other activities.

Reducing Stress

To prevent your pets from getting anxious when you kids leave, you should sort of ween them off from the lack of attention rather than letting your kids leave to school and immediately leaving your pet alone. A good way to do this is dedicating a week to getting them used to people being away. Break out the lunchboxes early to help your dog or cat associate the item to being alone. Then start taking absences from your home from anywhere to 30 minutes to an hour. Keep this up for about a week so when your kids do finally leave, your pet will not be nearly as anxious as they would be if it was all dropped on them instantly.

Beneficial Ambiance

Cats and Dogs alike love the sound of your voice, or other ambient noises. When I was a child, me and my family would go camping or out of town for 3 to 4 days, we would leave the stereo on playing quiet music so the animals would not feel nearly as alone as they would before. A wonderful thing to do, is record your kids reading to your pets and to play it over a radio or speakers while you are gone, just hearing your voice will do your pets wonders.

Coping with your Absence

Getting your dogs used to the absence of you helps with their anxiety. When dogs get anxious they are prone to chewing up random things around the house, this is quite normal and should not be punished harshly. If you get them used to the idea of you being gone, they will not react so adversely when faced with being alone. When leaving your dogs indoors for a few hours out of the day, do not give them a pad to urinate on because that tells them that it is okay to pee in the house. Getting a walker leash, a leash that runs on a line between two trees, is something that is great for your dog because they are not confined to one area and can walk around the yard with ease. A really fun thing for you and your dog to do is when your kids are away, take them to an obedience or training school. It will keep your dog from getting bored and you can definitely benefit from the training that your dog gets. Along with the new program your dog will be on, it establishes a great one-on-one bonding experience for your pet.

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