Is your pet wondering, “Hey, where did everyone go?” Back-to-school means our pets are faced with changes that are often confusing, like hectic mornings followed by a empty house. When household schedules change overnight, this can be particularly confusing for newly adopted pets. Consider these suggestions to help ease the transition in the weeks ahead.
To keep your pet busy throughout the day, offer them a Kong™ rubber toy with peanut butter or treats – fill then freeze overnight) or other safe things for dogs to chew and cats to play with while you’re away. In fact, this just happens to be the favorite toy of “Officer Marcel,” a Katy ISD K9 Labrador we featured in our last issue! Local pet boutiques offer safe chewing alternatives for all sized pets. Just ask the staff if you need recommendations.
For familiar sounds, leave on soothing music or the television. Think of ways to enrich their environment ahead of time so their boredom doesn’t create unwelcome habits. This is a good time to revisit crate training, too. But if you choose to crate your pet, plan to come home at lunch to let them out for a break or hire a local pet sitter for a noon visit in your place. If your pet has serious anxiety issues, consult your vet for supplements and solutions.
Ease the Stress with “Shuffling”
If you normally rush around right before you leave to get to school or work on time (with backpacks flying as you rush out the door), mix it up! Instead of waiting until the actual week of big changes to the routine, go through and gather up backpacks, purse and keys to head out the door, then promptly return. Try stretching out the length of time gradually, and your pet will learn to trust that you will be back.
Just because summertime is over, don’t forget to keep up the outdoor exercise and play with your kids and pets after homework and dinner. With the season still being so hot, it’s nice to go for a walk, a swim, or play ball in the backyard later in the evening. Take the opportunity to readjust the schedule by spending more time in the evening with your pets so they don’t miss out on quality time with their family.
Why not sign up your pet for basic obedience classes to brush up on good habits! This will provide mental stimulation and a social outlet at a local obedience and pet training facility. There are many to choose from in our area, so research and choose the right one for your pet. Another awesome alternative for pet boredom is doggy daycare! Many local kennel and boarding businesses offer special weekly rates for regulars and offer options so check them out online and call for details.
Katy Community ‘Chip Clinic Matters!
Join us Saturday, September 13 at Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming in Katy from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. – get a low-cost chip for your pet! During our new fall schedules, the temptation for your pet to try and “find” you may be especially strong as your family disperses for work and school. God forbid they wander away, but unfortunately it does happen more often than we’d like to think… so chipping cats and dogs can help ensure they are found and returned home.
Follow us on Facebook at the Cinco Ranch Area Lost & Found Network.
Paige Holsapple is one of Katy’s well-known animal advocates, often helping owners locate missing pets. She is also a graphic designer and photographer. You can connect with her on Facebook at just about any animal or shelter group.