5 min read

From Furballs to Finals: Getting Your Pets Ready for Back-to-School Madness!

Pets get used to having their humans around more when the family is on holiday, which can lead to separation anxiety!
From Furballs to Finals: Getting Your Pets Ready for Back-to-School Madness!

Back to school is that time of year when we shift our focus from relaxation mode to back-to-business mode. While it may be a relief to get back to a normal routine, it can be a stressful time for your pets. Pets get used to having their humans around more when the family is on holiday, which can lead to separation anxiety as everyone returns to work or school.

However, with a little preparation and some extra love and attention, you can help your furry friend adjust to a new schedule without missing you too much.

Gradual Adjustment

Start preparing your pets for a new routine gradually. Start with shorter periods away from them. For example, leave them alone for an hour or two, and then gradually increase the length of time. This will help your pets get used to being alone before the first day of school.


It is important to keep in mind that pets need physical activities to keep them mentally and physically fit. If your pets are not exercised before school starts, they will be bored, anxious, and stressed. Integrating vigorous exercises into their routine will help diminish any additional anxiety they may have about your absence.

Taking your pet for a walk, playing with them in the yard, and teaching your pet new tricks are all excellent ways to ensure your pets remain happy, healthy, and energetic during the day.

Provide Proper Stimulation

It is important to keep your pets occupied while you are away. Leave them with plenty of food, water, and proper toys to play with. A busy Kong toy with a healthy treat can keep them distracted for hours. Alternatively, consider providing them with some puzzles or toys that provide mental stimulation when they are alone at home.

Stay Calm

Dogs pick up on our emotions, so it is essential to remain calm and happy during back-to-school time. Pets can sense anxiety and tension in humans. If you are relaxed and calm, your pets will feel more at ease. If you are upset, stressed, or angry, they will also feel that energy and they will become anxious and worried.

Dog walker with five dogs

Have a Family Member or Dog-Sitter Check-In

If possible, have someone check-in on your pet during the day if you are not able to return quickly. Many people hate leaving their pets alone. If you know a responsible, caring family member or neighbor, ask them to feed and play with your pet while you are away. If you do not know anyone who can do this for you, consider hiring a professional pet sitter to help.


In all honesty, pets spend the vast majority of any given day wagging their tails, napping, and eagerly anticipating their humans’ return. Back-to-school season can be an adjustment, but your pet will be eager for your return all the same.

Although the first few days may be difficult as they adjust, after a few weeks, your pet should be able to settle into the new routine and find ways to occupy their time during the day. Just keep showing your furry friend love and affection, and they will ease into the back-to-school season.

Keeping Pets Engaged and Happy When Home Alone: Fun Activities for Dogs, Cats, Birds, and More!

Leaving our beloved pets alone at home can often leave us feeling guilty and worried about their well-being. However, with a little creativity and planning, we can provide them with engaging and entertaining activities that keep them happy and stimulated while we're away.

In this blog post, we'll explore various types of pets and suggest a range of activities to ensure their physical and mental well-being. Let's dive in!

Types of Pets

  1. Dogs: Known for their energy and love for playtime, dogs require activities that keep them physically and mentally engaged.
  2. Cats: Independent yet curious creatures, cats benefit from activities that stimulate their predatory instincts and provide mental enrichment.
  3. Birds: Intelligent and social creatures, birds need activities that offer mental stimulation and opportunities for socializing.

Activities for Dogs

  1. Puzzle Toys: These toys provide mental stimulation and challenge your dog's problem-solving skills. Fill them with treats or kibble to keep your dog motivated.
  2. Hide and Seek: Hide treats or favorite toys around the house to encourage your dog to use their senses and search for them.
  3. Interactive Toys: Toys that dispense treats or make sounds when touched can keep dogs entertained for hours.
  4. Doggy Daycare: If possible, consider enrolling your dog in a daycare program where they can socialize and engage in supervised play with other dogs.
  5. Agility Training: Set up an indoor or outdoor obstacle course with tunnels, ramps, and jumps to keep your dog physically active and mentally stimulated.

Activities for Cats

  1. Interactive Playtime: Use toys that mimic prey, such as feather wands or laser pointers, to engage your cat's natural hunting instincts.
  2. Window Perch: Place a comfortable perch near a window so that your cat can observe the outside world, providing mental stimulation and entertainment.
  3. Puzzle Feeders: These feeders make mealtime more engaging by requiring your cat to work for their food, stimulating their problem-solving skills.
  4. Catnip Toys: Provide your cat with catnip-filled toys to encourage playfulness and provide mental stimulation.
  5. Vertical Spaces: Install shelves or cat trees that allow your cat to climb, jump, and explore their environment.
Two birds in a cage

Activities for Birds

  1. Toys and Puzzles: Provide your bird with a variety of toys that offer challenges, such as puzzle toys or objects they can manipulate with their beaks and feet.
  2. Social Interactions: Spend quality time talking, singing, or playing games with your bird to provide mental stimulation and strengthen your bond.
  3. Foraging Opportunities: Hide treats or food in various locations around their cage or aviary, encouraging your bird's natural foraging behaviors.
  4. Music and Enriching Sounds: Play calming or stimulating music for your bird to create a soothing or engaging environment.
  5. Flight Time: Allow your bird to safely explore a designated area outside of their cage, such as a bird-proof room, to stretch their wings and enjoy freedom of movement.

Preparing Pets for Alone Time

Establish a Routine: Create a consistent schedule for feeding, exercise, and playtime to help your pet feel secure and know what to expect.

Provide Comfortable Spaces: Ensure your pet has access to cozy beds, blankets, or hiding spots where they can retreat and feel safe.

Leave Entertainment: Leave out interactive toys, treat-dispensing puzzles, or even a radio or TV playing calming music to keep them occupied.

Scent Association: Leave an item with your scent, such as a t-shirt or blanket, to provide reassurance and familiarity while you're away.

Consider a Pet Sitter: If possible, hire a trusted pet sitter to visit your home and provide companionship, exercise, and mental stimulation.

By incorporating these engaging activities into your pet's routine, you can help alleviate boredom, reduce anxiety, and ensure their overall well-being while you're away. Remember, every pet is unique, so observe their preferences and adjust the activities accordingly. With love, care, and a little creativity, you can keep your furry or feathered friend happy and entertained, even when you're not at home. Happy pet parenting!

Please note that the information provided is for informational purposes only. For specific concerns or additional advice, consult with a professional veterinarian or animal behaviorist.


American Kennel Club: Mental Stimulation for Dogs

[Lafeber's: Enrichment and Mental Stimulation for Birds](https://lafeber.com/pet-bird