Back To School for Pets


Dogs need their family–and miss us when the routine changes after school starts. Image Copr. MelissaMethamphetamine/Flickr

What do you do when the kiddos return to school? Breathe a sigh of relief? Miss them desperately? All of the above? My in-box is FILLED with all kinds of back-to-school offers for kid clothing, electronics, cameras, and more. Heck, this weekend (I’m writing the blog ahead) it’s “TAX FREE SHOPPING” here in Texas just to help out parents with the extra cost.

What about the pets? For many cats and dogs, the summer vacation means more time spent with their beloved “human-pups” playing and training, and having a wonderful time together. If you got a NEW baby dog or kitty this past spring, the 24/7 time together may be all they’ve ever known.

So what happens when school starts? And if you have a child leaving for college, that can REALLY put the pet’s tail in a twist. A couple of years ago when I quit writing (for a while) and taught school for a little over a semester–Magical-Dawg and I both suffered separation anxiety!

Separation behaviors are not unusual when routine changes. These tend to affect dogs more readily than cats. Cats with separation anxiety may end up pooping on your bed…but dogs may try to go through doors, walls or even windows and really hurt themselves. You can find a detailed article on dealing with doggy separation behaviors here.

Providing good alternative behaviors helps enormously. If you know the routine will change, start transitioning pets now. Use products like Comfort Zone with DAP or Feliway to soothe dog and cat angst, and provide some puzzle toys or cat trees to keep claws and teeth occupied. Check out the newest ASK AMY (below) for more ideas.

What have I missed? Do your dogs and cats get all stressed when school starts? How do you manage? Please share!


I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!


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