When the Kids Go Back to School, and the Pets Stay

by on 08/09/10 at 10:07 am

Summertime is a wonderful season for enjoying family. You have opportunities to go on vacation and spend time with your kids, and your kids likely use the months to give your pets all sorts of love and attention. Before you know it, however, September rolls around and it’s back to school. The bikes and games are put away for weekend use, and it’s off to the bus stop. All those endless days of fun and frolic for your dogs and cats have abruptly ended, which might leave them wondering why the fun stopped.

It is not uncommon to see a change in pet behavior when the seasons change. The absence of your kids for hours at a time is quite significant, and for the first few days back to school they are likely to wander the house looking for them. If your dog or cat appears a bit mopier than unusual and unable to adjust to this change in routine, there are a few things you can do to help make the transition easier for them.

Depending on your schedule, if you are a stay at home parent, make the time for longer walks in the day or more time outside. It’s good to focus your attention on your pet without overcompensating for your kids being gone. Pets are smart, and observant. If you act too protective or cloying you risk causing more upset.

If you must go back to work as well, look into a professional sitting or walking service to handle your pets during the day. This way your dog or cat is less likely to feel complete abandonment – it’s a good idea, too, to have your potential sitter over before you begin so your pets become familiar with the new face.

Weekends, of course, provide ample opportunity to spend with your pets, so take advantage of the time and let them know you are there for them. Watch your pet’s behavior during this adjustment period, and you’ll find they will adapt well to the change in routine…until summertime comes around again!

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