Back to School: How to Get Your Pets to Cope

The summer is a fun time not only for kids but for family pets too. They have lots of human company and there is usually a lot happening that includes outings to the beach and visits to family and friends. Then it’s back to school and off to college and the house goes quiet and your pets really do miss the action and interaction. Often this can lead to anxiety and stress.

Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to ease the situation. Consider spraying the room they hang out in the most with a calming pheromone spray or diffuser. You can also consider a calming collar with pheromones. Pheromones have a positive effect on both cats and dogs in alleviating stress and anxiety.

Also, it’s a matter of distracting both cats and dogs with other activities so that they can begin to adjust to a different routine.

When it comes to dogs, start every day with an early morning walk before you go to work. This way, when you walk out to door and head to the office, they will be tired from the activity and happy to snooze. Other ideas include:

  • Leave them a nice distraction or puzzle toy to keep them engaged and busy.
  • Arrange a play date with a neighbor’s dog or organize more regular outings to the dog park. Dogs are very social and love to play with their “peers”.

Cats need both mental and physical stimulation, too. When you have your coffee before work in the morning, engage your cat in a game with a laser. They will enjoy chasing the beam. But, remember, it’s not fair play so be sure to give a treat at the end of the game. Or time the game to occur before you put down your cat’s breakfast.

Move the cat tree or kitty condo so that is has a nice (and safe) view overlooking your garden or a street. Cats are curious and will love to observe outside activities whether its people or birds and butterflies. Cats also enjoy:

  • Puzzle toys. Consider replacing the food bowl with a puzzle toy, which will make your cat work for her food.
  • The sight and sounds of the outdoors. Consider buying a pet stroller to take your kitty out and about it. It will be great exercise for you too.

What activities do you engage in with your dog or cat?

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