Ash Veterinary Clinic


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By Dr. Toinette Strusinski-Broschay

For Digital First Media


Do you know what your dog and cat are going to do when you go back to school? It happens every year. It is time for school – new teachers, new friends, and lots of homework. Are you ready? Are your pets ready for you to go back to school? Your pets have been used to you being home all summer and will miss you when you are gone all day. We want to make the back to school adjustment easier for both you and your pets!

Let’s start with the beginning of the day. Because it was summertime, your pets may have been used to you being home all morning. It is going to be a big change when you or your family go to work or school and they are alone.  Do not make a big deal about leaving. If you get emotional about leaving your pets behind, they will pick up on it and get anxious too. If your pet is used to lots of attention in the morning, give it to them when you first wake up. You might even get up earlier and take them for a walk. Then go about your business getting ready for school. A quick “See you later!” is just what your pet needs to relax and wait for your return.

To get your pets accustomed to you leaving for the day, before the school year starts, you can try and acclimate them to your leaving time. Every once in a while, pretend you are leaving, but don’t. Pick up your bag, go out the door, and then come back. Your pets will never know when you are really leaving and will learn to relax when you are getting ready to leave. If your dog tends to be upset when you leave, you might take an old t-shirt and put it with your dog in his kennel or bed. Your dog will be able to take comfort in your familiar smell. If your pet is a chewer though, this may not be the best idea.

                If you leave things for your pet to do while you are at school, they will be busy and not so lonely. There are specially made toys that are for dogs that are spending time alone. These toys are made to entertain him while he is waiting for you to come home. Interactive toys have special features that reward your pet for playing with them. There are special balls that you can put food or treats in that your pet can roll it around and food will drop out. Before you leave for school, you can also hide your dog’s favorite toys throughout the house, so your dog can play a game of hide-and-seek while you are gone.

You probably spent time playing with your pet during the summer. Now that school is starting, your pets will miss you. It would be a good thing for you to spend time with your pet when you get home. Going for a walk with your dog after school is a great way to get some exercise and hang out together, too.  Your cat may have a suggestion or two, as well. Fetch and hide and seek, are all good games to play on a weekday afternoon or evening.

Going back to school is tough on the whole family. Getting back into the early morning routine can mean that your furry friends may be forgotten in the shuffle. Your pets cannot tell you when they are lonely or bored. So it is up to you to make their life happy. If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment, please call Ash Veterinary Clinic in Carleton at 734-782-2827 or visit us online at

Dr. Toinette Strusinski-Broschay is the owner of Ash Veterinary Clinic in Carleton.

[4:06:25 PM] Dianne Raftopoulos: