When it's time to go back to school, everyone starts preparing. Parents start shopping for clothes, school supplies, and lunches, and the kids switch up their routines. It's an adjustment for the entire family, including the pets.
Melissa Gable, Executive Director of Friends of Animal Care and Control says an empty and quiet home could be difficult for your pets. Follow their tips to help the furry family members easily adjust to the changes.
1. Begin by giving your companion animal some "alone time" BEFORE the kids head off to school. This means separating your kids from your pet(s) for a while each day prior to school starting. When you leave, be quiet and low-key. Making a production of your departure could add even more stress to your pooch. A simple "See you later" will suffice.
2. Leave some interactive toys for your pet; this will help keep him from being bored. Look for sturdy toys that aren't easily destroyed. There is a large selection of toys on the market that allow you to fill them with treats - giving your dog something to keep him busy and occupied while you are away.
3. If your dog seems upset and anxious when the kids leave, give your pet a blanket or t-shirt that has your kids scent on it. The familiar smell may calm Fido down and give him something to cuddle while everyone is away.
4. Separation anxiety is common in dogs - especially this time of year. Dogs can become stressed, which may lead to destructive behavior. You may want to consider confining your dog to a small laundry room or crate/kennel while you are away. If your pet has not been crate trained, don't start on the day the kids go back to school! Your dog will need time to adjust to the crate and shouldn't be left alone for more than 9 hours (for adults) or 6 hours (for puppies).
5. Ask your kids to spend some quality time with their pet when they return home from school. This could be a simple walk around the block, playing in the backyard or even having children read and share their homework with the family pet.
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Parents and students have an opportunity to put a dent in the bottom line of their back-to-school shopping list by taking advantage of the Sales Tax Holiday which runs until midnight August 14.