The rush of back-to-school is almost here and chances are that mean’s you’re going to spend more time focused on school work and busy schedules. Now is an important time to include your recently adopted dog or cat in the family’s new routine.
Many families adopt a pet during the summer because it provides the opportunity to spend the extra time needed for training and bonding with their new family member. Puppies and kittens will often develop lifelong emotional bonds with their new owners during this time. As a result, the change in routine when children return to school can be confusing to a new family pet. Instead of going for walks and playing in the yard, their companions suddenly head out the door without them.
Pets are creatures of habit and it is important to establish clear rules and a set schedule to ensure they will be happy and well adjusted.
Here are a few tips to help your animal cope with a new back-to-school schedule:
- Work with your children to set and follow a daily routine that works for their lifestyle all year long. The schedule should include feeding, walks to one spot for housebreaking, walks off the property (for socialization) and appropriate play at the same time every day.
- Hide favorite pet treats around the house for your pet to discover while you are away.
- Encourage your children to come home right away to care for their pet’s needs and jump into a fun game of “fetch” before starting other after school activities.
- Plan fun after school activities for your children to do with their new pet – build a cat tree, plan a family game of soccer or go for a hike together.
These are just a few of the fun and pet-friendly activities you and your children can do to help keep your pet happy and content. Don’t hesitate to write your own back-to-school plan and be creative!