A sudden change of schedule can lead to stress in your dog or cat and can cause behavioral problems. Extra attention and/or a new friend may be the solution.

After a summer of playing ball, swimming, catching fireflies and getting lots of attention from his favorite boy or girl, your dog or cat may not be himself when the kids dash off on the first day of the new school year. The sudden disruption to his schedule and special time may cause your pet to eat too much, not want to eat at all or start eating strange objects such as plants, dirt, toys or clothing. This can result in vomiting, diarrhea and skin problems to name a few. Now is the time to give your four-legged family member some extra attention and to bone-up on your Pet First-Aid skills because no matter how hard you try…life happens and you can’t keep any of your family members in a plastic bubble!


Back-to-School Tips

Keeping a few things in mind may help the animals in your household adjust and stay safe:

1. When the school bell rings, don’t let your pet go back to school too. A lonely pet may want to tag along. Keep your pet confined when children leave for school, and if you drive, don’t take the pets with you. Animals learn quickly and may find their own way to school later on resulting in them becoming lost or injured. For severe separation anxiety, place the t-shirt your child slept in the night before in your pet’s bed — as long as he doesn’t rip it to shreds, it will make him feel like his boy or girl is there with him.

2. Now that mom or dad may be experiencing a little “empty nesting,” it’s a great time to spend extra quality time with the family pet. Embark on an exercise and training program for your dog. A tired dog is a good dog who will wait patiently for his “kids” to come home from school.  This is prime time to teach or refresh doggie obedience and kitty manners by getting involved in an exercise and training program – yes, cats too can learn new tricks!

3. Love and attention is a bow wow wonderful thing, but when training is done for the day and you need a little time to yourself, you won’t want Fido or Fluffy acting like a velcro pet, sticking to your side every second of the day.  Interest dogs in interactive toys to entertain themselves.  Toys filled with treats, tennis ball launchers and chicken scented bubble machines are just a few novelties on the market.   For cats there are electronic mice, bungee cord and laser light toys.  Just know your pet and supervise him.  Don’t believe labels claiming products are indestructible!

4. If your cat is seeming bored with the kids away…consider adopting a second cat to keep him company. They will play and exercise together and you will have saved a life.

Dogs and cats are part of the family too, so make sure you focus extra attention on them when their world has suddenly turned upside down.


For 16 years Denise Fleck’s Sunny-dog Ink motto has been “Helping people to help their pets,” and she has…teaching more than 10,000 pet lovers animal life-saving skills and millions more on national television segments, yet better pet parenting is still a secret in many communities.  In the Spring of 2017, in her role as Pet Safety Crusader™, Denise will journey across the Southern U.S. to “Be the one who makes a difference” by helping large numbers of people help their pets in one concerted effort!  Pet First Aid classes, Pet Disaster Preparedness training and readings of her children’s books will be part of the fun as she travels 10,000 miles to 18 cities — from California to Florida, north to Virginia, across to Tennessee, down to Arkansas and back across the Southwest.  Super hero sponsors are needed to be the ‘wheels beneath her RV.’ Learn more about this epic adventure, Denise’s line of Pet First-Aid Kits, books and instructional posters at www.sunnydogink.com