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August 29th, 2012

Tips to help your pet with back-to-school stresses



BRIDGEPORT, CT - Heading back to the classroom can be a frantic, frazzling experience for kids, parents and pets alike. With all the scheduling dilemmas the new school year brings, the quality time we used to spend with our four-legged friends during the summer months is suddenly in short supply. So it’s no wonder if even the most well-behaved pets aren’t at their angelic best during these stressful days.

Here are a few suggestions from one of the world’s leading providers of training and mental exercise products to make the back-to-school transition period less trying.
• A week or so before the kids return to school, start getting your pets used to their absence. Take a few trial runs by leaving them early in the morning for about an hour. Line up the lunchboxes on the kitchen counter so that your dog or cat starts to see this as part of your morning routine.

• To many pet parents, the prospect of having their four-legged companions stay in a crate may seem like locking them away in prison. But think of it more like a protective crib or playpen. Just be sure to leave them with fresh water, food or treats to keep them occupied until you or the kids get home.

• Quickly establish a new daily routine. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and feel anxious when there are major disruptions in their life. While you’re scheduling carpools and after-school activities, you should also schedule regular times for your dog’s feedings, walks and together time.

• Leave playthings that keep them engaged. One way to keep housebound pets from getting bored is to give them a fun homework assignment, such as the Dog Miracle Puzzle™ from Nina Ottosson. This durable, cleverly constructed puzzle lets dogs seek out concealed treats by trying to move, lift or push aside durable, stackable bricks with their paw or nose.

• Use a pet-friendly training device to gently correct unwanted behaviors. One example is the Pet Corrector™ from The Company of Animals. This convenient can of harmless compressed air simplifies training by mimicking the “hissing” sound animals make in the wild. And for those more impulsive types who need to be more firmly restrained, the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle is a great solution.

Hopefully, these tips will help prevent those back-to-school days from stressing out your pets - and you.

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