Keep Your Pets Busy When the Kids Head Back to School
When your kids go back to school, the family pet might not be too thrilled. Your dog or cat is used to a full-time playmate, and she may now feel lonely.
After being with the kids 24/7 all summer, some pets may suffer from separation anxiety or may feel left out of family activities that come with a new school year.
Separation anxiety can include destructive behavior that includes pacing, chewing and howling, according to the article, “Back-to-School Separation Anxiety” at Petfinder.com. First check with your vet to ensure there is no medical issue. If it is anxiety or stress, discuss with your vet.
Remember fun for your pet doesn’t have to stop when school starts. You can get in on it, too. The article offers the following ideas:
• Doggy daycare including supervised play and exercise.
• Exercise your dog with a long morning walk.
• Keep your dog or cat feeling important and spend quality time together.
• Occupy your dog with a peanut butter-stuffed Kong.
According to the article, “5 Fun Things to Do with Your Dog When the Kids Go Back to School,” at Petcentric.com, perk up your pets with the following:
• Introduce a new chew toy or a puzzle toy “that will encourage him to look for hidden goodies.”
• When you teach your dog something new, it actually helps alleviate boredom. Teach some basic tricks. Or get bold and try an agility course.
• Calming music soothes the soul and has been known to help relax people and dogs.
Ensure that your children make quality time for pets even if it’s a little bit after school. “Whether you’re going on long walks, taking trips to the dog park, or even just relaxing on the couch, do whatever your dog loves best,” the Petcentric.com article said.
Got a Furry Dog? Find Out If FURminating Can Help
If you have a furry dog who sheds a lot, different seasons can mean extra hair. You’ve tried everything from daily brushing to frequent trips to the groomer for professional comb-outs. But that hair!
Shedding is natural for dogs and “non-shedding is a misconception,” according to the article, “Dealing With Springtime Shedding,” at AnimalBehaviorCollege.com.
What about FURminating? Sometimes groomers offer the service as an add-on to your dog’s regular grooming. FURminating your dog helps to control the shedding. “You use short strokes in the direction of the grain of hair and work through the entire coat with it,” the article said, helping to release the undercoat on your dog.
FURminating also can be used for cats. While it’s not for every pet, there are many plusses as long as you do it correctly.
According to the article, “How to Use a FURminator deShedding Tool,” at Petful.com, the following tips can help:
• Start with a dry coat
• Remove mats and tangles prior to FURminating. “If you can’t get them out, don’t try to use the FURminator to do so,” the Petful article said.
• Avoid areas with bruises or injuries.
• Remove burrs and other foreign objects before starting.
• Begin going head to tail in the same direction as the coat.
• Gentle, long strokes do the trick as well as moving the brush up and away from the skin. Remove hair from the teeth as you go along.
• Be careful around ears, stomach, genital areas and legs.
• Do not brush from tail to head.
• Do not use a lot of pressure and don’t cause pain.
• Don’t use in excess in one particular area.
Remember to clean your FURminator after use and properly store it away. It is also important not to use it on dogs or cats who do not shed much.
Better to Be Safe than Sorry: The Best Way to Travel with Pets in the Car
We’ve all seen cars drive by with dogs hanging out the window. Or the driver with a dog in their lap. There’s also the cringeworthy: the dog unsecured in the back of a pickup truck. So, what is the safest way for pets to travel in a vehicle?
According to the article, “Travel safely with your pet by car, airplane, ship or train,” at
The Humane Society of the United States, dogs are safest in a crate that is anchored with a seatbelt or something similar that secures it. “Dog restraints or seat belts are useful for preventing your dog from roaming around the car and being a distraction to the driver, but they haven’t been reliably shown to protect dogs during a crash,” the article said. Cats should travel in a restrained carrier.
Crates or carriers should allow your pet enough room to stand and sit as well as lie down. It should be well ventilated, according to the ASPCA article, “Travel Safety Tips.” If you don’t use a crate, never allow your dog to roam around inside the vehicle. “…and always keep him in the back seat in a harness attached to a seat buckle.”
While there are a handful of safety measures, Petful’s article, “Shockingly Few Pet Restraints Actually Passed Crash Tests. THESE Did,” is an eye-opener as it discusses the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) and its findings. In the U.S. there are no test protocols when it comes to substantiating manufacturers claims of crates and carriers, CPS said. This article lists the following as best performers according to CPS crash tests:
• Crate: Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8’ Tie Down Straps
• Carrier: Pet Ego Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier
• Harness: Sleepypod Clickit Utility
Do your homework to help keep your pets safe.