Back-to-school: are your pets ready?

SPRINGFIELD,Mo.-- Back to school season takes a bit adjusting for everyone, including your pets. Many times people don't even think twice about it. However, when the school year begins, and everyone leaves the house, your pets can get lonely, bored, and sometimes even lost during the families busy schedule.

Karen Foutch with the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri said there are a few things you can do to make sure your fur kids are well taken care of during this time of the year.

1. Acknowledge your pets:
You want to make sure you are investing time to show your pet attention. When it goes from being a full house to an empty house, they may start to feel lonely. 'TLC' will go a long ways.

2. Mentally-stimulating toys:
"Smart toys" will keep your pets busy. They are designed to keep the dog active and intrested. It's a good idea to have multiple toys on rotation, which will keep your pet's interest fresh and away from your favorite shoes.

3. Hang out with your pets
It's a good idea to explore with your pets. Take them walks or even a drive if you're running small errands, like dropping the kids off, or going to fill up on gas.

4. Get your pets on a potty schedule:
Get your pets on a school time bathroom schedule. With everyone being home in the summer, they may be in the habit of going on their own time, so having them readjust to the back-to-school schedule is essential.

Foutch said that back-to-school time doesn't necessarily mean that summer is over for pets.

"It is back to school time, but we do have some hot days, so we want everyone to still be mindful of the weather," explained Foutch. "We still have some hot heat indexes up into the triple digits, so make sure that they have plenty of food and water and maybe someone to come in and check on them. "

Foutch said if you or your kids are going to be away for extended periods due to extracurricular activities or study groups, send your pet to an animal daycare. Doing so helps pets be social and ensure them a good time while you're away. Nevertheless, the intent is to keep your pets social so that they won't be a high risk for separation anxiety.

"Another thing you can do is get your dog a companion," said Foutch. "If you have just a single dog at home and now he's home alone a lot you might want to consider adopting another pet to give him a friend."

If you are looking for your pet a fur-ever buddy to help them cope with the back to school season, The Humane Society has a wide range of pets you can adopt.

https://www.swh.org/