As summer draws to a close, many families are preparing for a shift in their schedules – all thanks to school! While this is an exciting time, it also means that the schedule (or lack thereof) you’ve had in place for the past few months is about to be uprooted. Sometimes, this means that pets will be left at home for a little longer throughout the day while adults are at work and kids are at school. Did you know pets can get the back to school blues too? Check out a few of these tips to make the transition to back-to-school time a smooth one while keeping your furry friends occupied throughout the day.
Start a Routine and Stick to It
As much as your (human) family needs a routine, so do your pets. During times of change, it’s especially important to remain consistent with feeding time, socializing and housebreaking (or outdoors time). Figure out a schedule that works best for your family, and make sure you (try to) stick to it throughout the school year. Not only will it help your furry friend make an easy transition, it will help you – there will hopefully be no surprises (though we all know life happens).
Become an Early Riser
When planning out your routine, give yourself enough time to actually spend time with your pet. Give them a little bit of socialization in the morning, take them for a walk, make sure they get enough time outside. Basically, learn to love the sunrise! Though it is shocking to me, because I’d sleep until 9 every day if I could, there are actually many benefits of becoming an early riser. You’ll be more proactive during the day, a better planner…and your pet will appreciate it too!
Keep Your Pets Entertained
Your pet may have been a little spoiled this summer if you or a family member were home more often than normal. They may have become used to the constant belly rubs and games of fetch. So when school rolls around and they may be home alone a little longer than usual, make sure you find ways to keep them calm and entertained. For example:
- Keep the radio turned on low for them – it’ll give them peace of mind when you’re not home
- Give them a special toy that’ll keep them busy when you’re gone
- I especially love North Shore Animal League’s suggestion: “Hide favorite pet treats around the house for your pet to discover while you are away.” It’ll keep them occupied and give them some little bits of love throughout the day!
Plan Fun Activities When You’re Home
Hooray…you’ve made it through the day! Once you’re home, however, the fun doesn’t need to stop. After work and school, and especially on the weekends, make sure you get some quality time with your pets. Take a trip to the dog park, bring them to a local pet bakery, or just get some extra outdoor fetch time! Your pets miss you when you’re gone so they will appreciate any time you can spend with them. Treats are always encouraged, of course!