Back to school time has a different meaning to students, teachers, parents, and even the family dog. Dogs are by nature pack animals and can become stressed if they feel like they have been left behind. Below are some special precautions to take during this transition time.

1. Separation Anxiety – The following website has great information about signs and training to help ease separation anxiety. This is a very serious issue in dogs and can lead to severe behavior problems so please be aware of the signs.

2. Make sure school supplies are not accessible to your pets. They can be choking hazards/digestive obstructions and cause death. We have made light of finding rainbow poop from dogs that have eaten crayons or play-doh but this is really is not a laughing matter as they can cause serious harm.

3. Inspect your fence and gate as some dogs may try to get out if they are suffering from even a very mild case of separation anxiety or just hear fun on the other side of the fence. This is really important if you have a digger.

4. Do not forget to provide exercise for your dog. Walks are important. If unable to walk your dog, provide mental exercises to tire your dog. Hiding treats for your dog to seek out is simple but a very stimulating exercise for dogs.

5. Homework papers and textbooks can be eaten by dogs. It’s true! Your dog could eat homework. Dogs love to shred papers and do not discriminate. Homework is just as enticing as toilet paper. Keep this in mind but just remember it is still no excuse for not turning in homework on time (I know, I was a teacher).