It’s that time of year: summer is ending and the school year is beginning. For some, school has already begun. It’s an exciting time for students, parents, and teachers, but it’s important not to forget our little furry friends. The beginning of the school year can be rough for dogs since schedules are changing and people aren’t home as much. It’s a big change and it’s imperative we take steps to ensure Fido is feeling happy and comfortable with the transition. BOGO Bowl has put together a list of things to get your pup on a schedule, leaving him (and you) happy and content.
Feed him at the same time every day. It’s important for your dog to know when he is going to eat. No matter how many times you feed him a day (generally 1-3 times a day, depending on your dog), consistency is important both psychologically and physically.
Walk him at the same time every day (or as close as possible). Being on a strict walk schedule lets your dog know when he should be ready to go potty. He knows to look forward to these times, which reduces accidents in the house. It’s best to walk him in the morning after you both wake up, after he eats, drinks a lot of water, plays excessively, and before bed.
Schedule play and exercise. Most dogs need to exercise and have play time so they can get out their energy. They don’t generally like to be locked inside all day. Along the lines of having scheduled walks, you should also schedule play time. You can designate certain walks to be strictly potty time, and leave one (or two) walks to be potty plus playtime walks.
Put Fido on a sleep schedule. Just like humans (and almost all creatures), dogs thrive when they’re on a specific sleep schedule. He will know when it’s time to wake up (and go on that walk he knows is coming) and when it’s time to wind down for sleep.
Utilize his crate. Not all puppy parents use crates, so this one is geared toward the ones who do (or should). Giving your dog a specific safe place will help calm his anxiety and fear of you and the kids being gone all day. Even if you don’t use a crate, sometimes a designated area of the house is a great alternative.
Hire a dog walker. This may not be for everyone, but for some families, hiring a dog walker can be very beneficial. If you work long hours or your kids are at school for a long time, your dog might need to go outside in between his morning and afternoon walks.
A girl reading a book little puppies
We hope these tips help you, your family, and your dog to have a smooth transition from scattered summer schedules to more strict school schedules! If you have any tips to share, please leave them in the comments below!
Sure, there's a day for everything now, but sometimes the point is to remind us about something we need to do... like be sure we have a p
lan in case the unexpected happens (think Fort McMurray).
It's not possible to anticipate every scenario, but there are some basics we can do to make dealing with a crisis easier on everyone. Create a "go bag" for each pet (or one large bag for multiple pets) to store important items so you don't have to collect them from all over the house in a rush.
Don't leave home without collars on your pets, and make sure their collars have your current contact information and their tags attached. Be sure your microchip information is current, too! People forget this more often than you'd think.
Have current photos of your pets on your phone - and also printed out! Try to have photos from a number of angles to capture unique markings and physical traits. Include at least one photo of the pet with family members to make it easier to prove ownership should you become separated.
Keep a copy of pets' health records - particularly vaccination documentation. Also note the vet's contact information in case you're separated.
Make copies of any prescriptions your pets need so if you have to leave home without them, you can get more.
Extra leashes and collars can come in handy and are easy to forget when you're racing to the car. If they're already in the bag, it won't matter.
For kitties, a kennel is absolutely necessary. A scared uncontained cat can easily slip away and become lost.
For dogs, if you have a collapsible crate, keep it nearby. If you end up in a large facility like a school or church, your pet might be more comfortable with their own space.
For your kitty, keep a small jug or box of their favorite litter. An empty cardboard box can stand-in as a litter pan if necessary. A few plastic grocery bags and a scoop will make life more comfortable for everyone.
Keep jugs of water on hand (for you and for them!) for up to 5 days.
Food, bowls, a can opener. Let's face it - we're not likely to keep filling and replacing plastic bags of food for emergency situations. Consider purchasing a small size bag (5 days' worth) of your pet's food to keep on hand just in case. Even quality foods without artificial preservatives have a shelf life of a year or more.
Pet first aid kits are available at many pet supply stores. You can bookmark websites that tell you how to treat minor ailments, but it would be wise to have a paper guide, as well, since you may not have access to the internet, or loss of phone battery.
Know your options. During a crisis, the friends and family you'd normally turn to for a place to stay may be experiencing similar challenges, so have a Plan B (and C and D if necessary).
Check ahead of time to see if your local shelter takes in animals during disasters. If they do, find out how pets are accepted and what information will be expected.
Know what hotels and motels in communities adjacent to yours accept pets, and what their rules are.
Make arrangements with friends who live an hour or two away to act as safe havens for each other should either area be under threat.
So what do you do with one sock? Lots of things! Here are 5:
Put an empty water bottle inside an athletic sock and tie a knot to keep it in. Dogs who like to crunch will be entertained for hours – or as long as it takes to get through the sock. You can even put some kibble in the bottle and leave the lid off for a special rattly treat!
If your dog has a wound on its paw, use a sock to keep it safe. You can use vet wrap to secure it around their knee or ankle. Or if you have a coordinated set, use them for doggy legwarmers.
Make a sweater for a small dog or kitty. Cut off the toe box to create a neck hole. Make a couple of cups on the side near the heal for their arms - er, front legs. Voila! Instant warmth for your wee bestie.
Have a senior dog or kitty who appreciates warmth? Fill an old sock with rice and tie a knot to close. Warm the rice-filled sock in the microwave (experiment with times to see what generates the right amount of heat without being too hot). Tuck it next to your dog or cat, or put it under a blanket next to them where they sleep.
Donate your strays (socks!) to your favorite shelter or rescue. They can use them for all sorts of things!