Ever think about how hard back to school can be on your family pets? Consider what September brings for them… It’s quiet in the house, there’s a new schedule to adjust to and the kids aren’t around as much. In my experience, pets are often resistant to change. (And by resistant I mean prone to fits of grumpiness and inappropriate peeing). But Iams has a few helpful tips to make the back to school transition as easy as possible for your furry friends:
1. Tire them out.
Try to fit in a morning walk. Before
heading out for the day, take your dog on a minimum of a half hour walk,
depending on the breed. Tiring them out will help ensure their not
antsy while alone.
2. Stimulate their minds.
If you can’t tire them out physically, how about mentally? In the morning, instead of using their regular bowl try feeding your pet using one of the many clever interactive food dispensing toys out there. Your cat or dog will have to work at figuring out how to get the food out. This will not only keep them entertained, but will tire them out for the afternoon.
3. Skip the production.
If your pet is giving you the “sad eyes” as you begin to jingle your keys and head for the door, it will be your natural instinct to stop and shower them with love and affection in an attempt to pacify their separation anxiety. However this only reinforces their emotional state. Instead of putting on a big show, give your pet a simple “See you later!” and head straight out the door. The same lack of fuss should be made at the end of the day when you return home.
4. TV or Music.
Music can help calm the mind and the body. Believe it or
not that goes for your pets as well! Tune the radio to a classical
station and leave it on while your out. (Don’t forget to keep the volume low as dogs and cats have very sensitive
5. Kitty and Doggie Daycare or Walkers.
Pet day cares and dog walkers can be a great alternative to keeping your pets busy and active. Whether you are hiring a walker or leaving your pet in a care center, be sure you feel comfortable with the people you are leaving your pet with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or check credentials and references
6. Practice patience.
Getting over separation anxiety can be a big hurdle for both you and your pet. For a while, your pet will truly believe that you are leaving them forever. However, with proper pet-parent patience, your pet will soon regain confidence that you will return. Practice makes perfect!
Also, spending time together on walks is nice but don’t forget the most important part of the day for your pet: playtime. Leave time to engage with you pet in fun activities when you arrive back home. This will give them something to look forward to at the end of each day.