Back to school tips

It’s back to school time again. Not only is it a stressful time for kids and adults but this change can greatly affect our four legged companions as well. With a little advanced training families can help avoid some of those back to school problems dogs might have.

Many pets are used to following kids when they roam. You should keep your pets confined when children leave for school. If you drive your kids to school leave the pets home. If you need to take your pet make sure they have all of their proper identification on – Name tag with address and telephone number. Pets should also have on a rabies tag and license tag.

At least 1 week before school starts you should get your dog ready for the change of schedule. Begin separating the dog and kids for longer periods of time to get them used to the separation. Lessen the amount of attention the pet receives (just a small amount). Get the dog used to extended periods of quiet time. They will no longer be the center of attention all day – they need to be ready for the change in activity.

Many dogs will become bored or possibly develop separation anxiety with the loss of playmates – be prepared for this. Make sure your pet has plenty of toys and activities to keep them busy while the kids are at school. If your dog is crated while you are gone toys like the Kong or Buster Cube are high quality toys that will help keep your pet engaged. If they are allowed to be loose you can also scatter kibble around the house for your pet to find while you are gone – this will keep them entertained.

Tips for kids on the way to/from school:
1. Never run or scream around loose dogs. Fast moving things can excite
dogs. Chasing for them is an instinct behavior. No matter how fast you
can run or bike most dogs can outrun you.
2. Never run up to a dog – even if you know the dog.
3. Never approach a dog without adult supervision.
4. Never reach over or through fences to pet a dog – even if the owner is
5. Do not approach a dog that looks frightened, growling or showing its
6. Approach dogs from the front or side. Never sneak up behind a dog.
7. If you see a loose dog, stop and walk away slowly. Ask an adult to call
the local animal control.
8. If a loose dog comes near you, stand still and wrap your arms around
your chest. You can also hold up a rolled up jacket or book bag in front
of you and back away slowly. Avoid eye contact – they may find this
9. If a dogs attacks – curl up in a ball on the ground, hide your face, place
your hands behind your neck and yell for help.

Tips for Dog Owners
1. Keep your dog in a secure place during times when children are likely
to be walking to and from school. This is the best way to avoid any
2. Never leave your dog unattended in the yard. The temptation for some
children to come and visit may be too great.
3. Keep your dog leashed and under control while in public.
4. Monitor your dog’s behavior and address any concerns with a trainer or
5. Training and socializing are always a good idea.

Hopefully by following these tips we can all get an “A” in back to school 101