As parents, we rush and push to make certain our kids are ready for back to school season, but often times we seem to forget that our four kids need some quality preparation too. We have a very spoiled puppy named, Max. Max is a big lovable, loyal dog.
He is easily attached to all the kids and us as well. In the mornings, he can’t wait to be let loose out of our room to play and have a good time with our kids throughout the day. We homeschool our kids, and since Max is still a puppy, he loves to play. So, he’s had to learn that he can’t come out to play with the kids quite as long during the day.
Max is still spoiled because he still has Del to entertain him. However, there are many dogs who don’t have that luxury. These dogs have to learn how to be entertained and enjoy being on their own while their owners are away at work and/or school. Often times parents get new puppies/dogs over summer breaks, and when school starts the dogs aren’t the same. These pet owners don’t know how to handle those situations.
Now that the kids are heading back to school, pets may start to feel lonely or experience separation anxiety. I had the distinct pleasure of being a part of an interview with the esteemed Dr. Kurt Venator one of Purina’s trusted veterinarians to address this exact issue. He gave us five tips to ensure your dog is ready for back to school. For as many years as I’ve owned animals, even I learned quite a bit from him today.
5 Tips to Ensure Your Pet is Ready for Back to School
- Get your pet into a routine. Believe it or not, pets thrive on routines. If they have a routine they can count on, they are more inclined to give you what you are longing for out of a pet. (It leads to fewer household accidents and they don’t push for your attention when you’re not able to give it to them.)
- Burn off some energy. Just like kids, pets need to burn their excess energy off too. That’s one of the reasons why pets and kids make such a wonderful combination. They burn energy off together. Make morning walks extra-long before you leave the house or have to separate them from the rest of the family.
- Create an interactive environment. This is where I learned something vital for Max! He chews EVERYTHING he can get his mouth around (he’s worse than a baby!) When he’s anxious or darn right bored.
I found out about the toy called a KONG. The Kong is a chew toy that we can fill with goodies for our pets. Dr. Kurt recommended we fill it with peanut butter or cream cheese. I had NO CLUE there were so many choices of KONGs either. These toys are the highly recommended toy to keep your dog entertained while you’re gone! I’m going to have to get Max one of these!!
- Turn up the tunes and start with baby steps. Studies have found that when the music is turned on, it actually helps keep an animal and/or child calmer. Plus, the music will turn out any excess noises your animal may hear and alleviate any excess excitement/disappointment of him thinking your home when you’re not. Plus, the music has a way of making feel less lonely. Get your pet used to hearing certain sounds at your departure.
- Spend time with your pet. This one is vital. Just like your kids need your attention, your pets do too. Set aside sometime throughout the day that you can give your pet some attention, whether that is curled up watching TV with you at night or going for a long walk before you go to bed. In our case, Max gets special attention every night before we call it a night. He also gets it from the kids first thing in the morning. Of course, he gets loads of attention all throughout the day too, but those are his special times.
We hope these tips helped you out. If you need more information, please be sure to visit Pet Centric for more information.
What tips would you add to this list to help with pet anxiety?