Preparing your Pet for Back-to-School Time

Preparing Your Pet for Back-to-School Time
Changes in schedule and pets being left alone when it’s time to head back to school can be stressful and cause a lot of anxiety as well as boredom.

That’s why I wanted to make sure you have the tools and knowledge to prepare your pet for Back-to-School time. Many times we forget that our lives affect the lives of our pets too. We don’t do this intentionally, of course, but we also don’t realize what a big change going back to school can be for them.

In this post I will give you tips on how to help your fur baby cope with the changes ahead. I will also share with you some great toys that can help keep their boredom at bay.

Join me as we dive into Preparing Your Pet for Back-to-School Time.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety in pets is a real thing. Cats and dogs can show different signs of this disorder, so it’s important to know what to look for.

Dogs show it by:
  • Digging and scratching in an attempt to escape
  • Excessive howling and whining
  • Destructive chewing
  • A lapse in potty training and overall just a change in mood
Major changes to the family routine are a potential trigger for this disorder. So is suddenly leaving your dog home alone after he's gotten used to constant human companionship.

In cats or kittens it can often look like:
  • Trembling
  • Withdrawing
  • Hiding and trying to escape
  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in mood
  • An upset stomach resulting in diarrhea
This can especially occur when your cat has a strong bond with your child and then, all of the sudden, their favorite person disappears for hours at a time.

If you have a cat or kitten, just be aware, this disorder is not solely for dogs.

Curb Boredom Through Enrichment Toys

Boredom can lead to a lot of destruction of things around the house. Remember, a tired pet is a happy pet. Two ways to tire your pet out are through exercise and toys!

Before you leave for the day, have some playtime with your cat or go for a good long walk with your dog. If you have a small breed dog, then toys and playtime are going to be your friend during this transition.

I have some wonderful toys for dogs and toys for cats that you can take a look at in the shop. They will help curb that boredom while you’re away.
Pro Tip for your Dog: You can also use treats to distract your pet when you’re gone. Fill up a toy with your dog’s favorite treats so that it can distract him in the first 30 minutes of you being gone. Then when you get home, pick it up and put it away. This lets them know they are safe and can count on you coming back.
Back to School Toys for Dogs
Pro Tip for your Cat: Cats can also benefit from toys to distract and entertain them while the family is gone. Even making a safe place on a window perch with a view of a birdhouse or other wildlife will definitely help to keep your kitty happy. You can even make a game of hiding pieces of dry cat food around the house. This is an excellent way to keep your cat busy and distract her from missing her people.

Back to School Toys for Cats

Ease your Pet into this New Routine

It’s important to remember to ease them into this new routine. Sudden change is not a good idea. Remember we want to avoid separation anxiety.

Before your schedule changes for the good, make sure you sit down with your family and talk about the new routine. Make sure to talk about how you are going to incorporate your pet into this new schedule. After all, they are family members as well. Then it’s time to practice. The common recommendation is to do this a couple of weeks before school begins.

Ease them into this transition. This will help your pet adjust.

Pro Tip: Slowly increase the amount of time your pet is home alone until school begins. This will give them plenty of time to understand that something new is underway.

Add Quality Playtime in the Evenings

Lastly, I suggest having quality playtime in the evenings with your pet. This is when you can pull out some new toys. Again, take a look at what we have in the shop. I specifically select each one of our toys to be beneficial to your cat or dog.

This is the time to shower your fur baby with attention. This reassures them that they have not been forgotten. Physical and mental exercise is key because it will help them stay calm and relaxed while you are gone during the day.

Remember, be extra patient with your pet during this transition. It’s a major change in their daily lives.

Put yourself in their paws and think what it would be like to all of the sudden be left home alone for hours on end. This can be very upsetting for them, so be sure to be patient during those mishaps and misbehaving times.

Coming home to a happy pet is what I want you to strive for, but mistakes happen and punishing them for things that happen while you are gone can be avoided if you only plan for the upcoming back-to-school time.