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Back to School Tips for Pets

Keep Your Pets Safe and Happy During the Back to School Season

You’ve had all summer with your pet. They’ll have to adjust, as much as you and the kids will, to a busy fall schedule. We asked Dr. Katy J. Nelson, DVM, CVJ, from “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy” on News Channel 8 for tips on how to help your pet – and your kids – make a smooth transition.

Q. Do pets have to adjust to back-to-school time just as we do?

A. Absolutely. Everyone’s around all summer long and your pet gets used to all the attention. Once fall activities kick into gear, everything changes. You’ll need to find ways for everyone to calmly transition.

Q. What’s your top tip for reducing the shock?

A. Make sure that you carve out some time for your pet. An unemployed dog is going to find ways to be self-employed. Giving your pet attention is good for them, you and the furniture.

Q. Do pets’ physical needs change in the fall?

A. Pets are more active over the summer. If they slow down, they might put on weight. Talk to your vet about adjusting their ratios of food and exercise. If your pet is getting 20% less exercise at back-to-school time, you’ll want to account for that.

Q. What about the back-to-school toll on kids and pets?

A. Make sure that your kids also spend quality time with your pets. If your child has had a tough day at school, encourage them to play with their pet – it’s a good stress relief for both of them.

Q. What’s the most important overall way to make pets most comfortable with the change?

A. Have a plan in place. Nothing should be hectic – pets pick up on our stress. A dog walker or pet sitter should start coming a couple of weeks before the fall schedule starts. If you’ve paid for a half hour of exercise, make sure you’re getting it. What’s most important is that everyone sticks to a routine.

Also – check out this great article about daily dog exercises to learn some fun new ways to keep your furry friends fit.


If you use a dog walker, speak to them about the process of bringing your pet back indoors. If they walk through wet, wooded areas (a harbor for molds), or other high-allergen environments, they should wipe your pet down with a damp microfiber cloth.