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The Back to School Rush - Is Your Pet Feeling Left Out?

September is always a busy time for families, as the summer season wraps up and chaos tends to take over. With new commitments for kids and parents, there is always so much going on, and always so much to do! With our mountain-sized tasks, and juggling of various obligations, it’s easy to put our pets on the back burner. As such, we tend to feel a bit more guilty leaving our beloved four-legged friends home longer, and with less interaction as we accomplish the day to day tasks. The Animal Care Centre of Strathmore has a few tips to keep your pet in the forefront of all the hustle and bustle:

For Dogs:

Everyone pitches in – create a pet care list for the family. Include who is responsible for Fido’s walks and meals that day and be sure to incorporate an activity that he enjoys (i.e.: ball toss).

Invest in a Kong toy appropriate for your dog’s size and fill it with 1-2 tbsp of canned food, then freeze it for a few hours before giving to your pet. This is a great mental stimulation activity for pups and keeps their mind and palate active!

Consider bringing your dog to work! Some offices are pet friendly and allow dogs to come to work with you – a small kennel under your desk may be an option depending on your employer and the type of working environment you are in.

Bring pup to a doggy day care! Doggy day cares allow for socialization, play and interaction with other people and pets. It’s an ideal solution for keeping your dog happy, stimulated, and calm during the night.

Hire a dog walker - when the schedule is just too busy, or the days are too long, a dog walker is a great alternative to keeping Fido active and mentally stimulated! Let your dog walker know which games Fido likes, as interactive play is a great way to tire out a pooch! And we all know - a tired pooch is a happy pooch!

For Cats:

Incorporate a pet care list for the family, including who is responsible for meals, litter box maintenance, and activities that keep your kitty active and thinking.

Cats are avid hunters, and love to use their brains and hunting skills, especially when they are strictly indoors. Food dispensing toys allow cats to be active in order to receive their food, so not only does it provide mental stimulation, it also encourages exercise!

Lasers! Whether you’re relaxing on the couch, or browsing through the Newsy Neighbour Magazine, a laser is an excellent toy that you can use to stimulate your cat, even when you have other things to do. Just point at the cat tree, floor or wall and your cat will be in instant hunt mode!

Ensure that kitty’s routine remains as familiar as possible. Cats are finicky and generally tend to “act out” when their routine changes. To avoid this, keep the space and sleeping arrangements as familiar as possible, and reduce the amount of unusual activity in these spaces whenever possible.

Animal Care Centre of Strathmore