How to Help Kids and Pets Cope When Summer is Over and School Starts
Summer is winding down and kids are preparing for the school year to begin. Many kids have those back-to-school jitters. And, there are the family pets who will now have to adjust to the new normal when their best friends head back to school. You can keep your pets in the mix so they don’t feel left out.
According to the article, “4 Tips on Preparing Your Dog for Back-to-School Season” at Petful.com, the following tips can “ensure your dog has the best experience possible once your family’s fall routine goes into full effect.”
1. Before school starts, practice the new routine. This can include setting your alarm and getting up early, taking your dog for a walk the time you will do so on school days, feed your dog at the new meal times, and start leaving your dog in his crate to get used to it.
2. Set times for extra exercise before school and work as well as after. “Just like you, your dog needs physical activity and exercise to stay healthy,” the article said. “They also need it to prevent boredom, which often leads to chewing or other bad behaviors.”
3. Stimulate your dog during the day with puzzle toys or leaving on slow music.
4. Keep it low key when you leave for the day and when you return.
Consider a playdate with a friend who has a dog, and you can return the favor another time, according to the article, “10 back to school tips for your dog” at Dog’s Best Life.
“Hire a dog walker or ask a retired neighbor to take your dog for a walk during the day,” the Dog’s Best Life article said.
For a special treat, try doggy day care. Check out Second Home Pet Resort’s Doggie Day Care.
According to the article, “How to Choose the Best Dog Food” at PetMD.com, “A good food will keep your dog’s hair coat shiny and sleek. It will strengthen his immune system.”
The article points to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) that “has established guidelines for regulators to govern claims a pet food company can make on its label.”
Things you should do to find the right pet food include:
• Read ingredients.
• Consider glutens and grains in pet food. Note that dogs are rarely allergic to gluten.
• Check by-products.
• Check the pet food’s nutritional adequacy statement.
• It’s a good idea to get your veterinarian’s advice when it comes to food and your dog’s age, lifestyle, genetics, etc.
If you think you have a pet who is allergic to his food, consult your veterinarian to find out what’s going on, according to the article, “6 Things Your Vet Wants You to Know About Dog Food” at Fetch by WebMD.com.
Remember “premium” food is not always better. “Stores tend to group dog foods into the categories of ‘popular’ and pricier ‘premium’ or ‘gourmet’ diets, but there aren’t any nutritional requirements for these labels,” the Fetch by WebMD article noted.
For dogs allergic to animal proteins, a vegetarian diet might do the trick. While it might “be tricky to find the right balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and nutrients for vegetarian pooches” it can be done.
Also be sure not to overfeed your pets. Determine the correct serving size based on your pet’s weight, the Fetch by WebMD article said.
Some toss up the negatives to human error, while others says its “an accident waiting to happen,” according to the article, “Why Retractable Leashes Are Dangerous” at Petful.com. “Common sense and vigilance is what is needed to walk a dog on a retractable leash properly.”
On the pro side, for a dog who is trained and an owner who properly uses the leash, a dog can walk anywhere from 20 to 30 feet away and have freedom without being off leash.
Then there’s the con side, often associated with human error to include “human frailty, human stupidity and lack of judgment,” the article said. Some cons include:
• A label warns about dangers to fingers that can get entangled. Other injuries include rope burns and gashes.
• People in the way of a retractable leash can get hurt and dog fights can occur.
• These leashes can cause trauma to your dog as they can “wrap around a dog’s leg and cause much more serious injury than a traditional leash,” the article said.
• Retractable leashes can undo training by allowing dogs to pull and not listen to commands.
Oftentimes, the dangers when using a retractable leash happen very quickly and before the owner has a chance to prevent the incident. Dogs darting into traffic while on their leash have been hit by cars.
“There have been cases of dogs getting twisted in the cord and having a tail or leg amputated by the deep cut made when the cord retracts,” according to the article, “Retractable Leashes: Dangerous And Deadly For Dogs And Humans” at Dogtime.com. “These things happen quickly, often too fast for the handler to react.”