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Preparing Pets For Back-To-School Routines

 

Preparing Pets For Back-To-School Routines

 

As South Florida's lazy summers begin to wind down, families begin turning their attention to the task of getting children back to school. And for the many pets added to households during coronavirus lock downs, a return to full time, in-person learning can be especially confusing. 

Fortunately, many of the same techniques used to help children transition smoothly can also work for pets. Ease into new bedtime and morning routines a week or so before the school year begins. Try to anticipate anxiety triggers that may alert your pet to the family's impending departure. Backpacks, lunch boxes and uniforms should be placed within a pet's line of vision so they become part of the household background as opposed to something associated with being left alone for the day. Give pets an interesting puzzle toy or chew toy to keep them occupied, and do so right before leaving so pets will not focus on the family's departure. Perhaps most importantly, try not to feel guilty, and leave the house in a matter-of-fact manner. Mama dogs don't feel guilty about leaving the den to bring home dinner. We parents would be wise to follow their leads.

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