Your kids aren't the only ones in the household who might be sad about the end of summer. Pets, who are particularly vulnerable to changes in schedules, can have trouble adjusting to long days without their kids at home.
Simply put, pets can get bored. But short of whining about their predicament (like some kids you might know), dogs and cats are more likely to entertain themselves in ways that can be construed as unruly. With nothing to do, pets might bark or meow excessively, pace nervously, gnaw on shoes and furniture or raid the garbage, along with myriad other disruptive and destructive behaviors.
But there are ways to help make your pet's transition from summer a little more peaceful. Following are some tips from aspca.com:
* Help your dog associate being alone with something positive. A food-filled toy, such as a Kong stuffed with peanut butter, is a very productive way for him to while away the hours.
* Avoid scolding your dog if she doesn't adjust quickly. As with any individual, he or she might have a unique timetable. Punishment might aggravate the problem.
* Cesar Milan, the dog whisperer, advocates strongly for increasing walks and exercise for dogs going through any kinds of changes. Go to Cesar Milan's website for more information.
* Work with your pet patiently to help him or her feel comfortable being alone.
If you don't have enough kids and pets to take care of, consider adopting another pet to keep your pooch company. There are always animals in need of adoption. The Westchester SPCA has plenty of family-friendly pets available for adoption. You can also visit paws.com for some potential pets.