Dogs and cats sense can sense your mood. Keep your pets healthy as back to school forces our routines to change.

Kids are now back at school, and new fall routines have begun. Your pets are likely feeling the change of schedules as well.

Pets might feel anxious or stressed with new routines since they pick up on their human’s emotions and facial expressions. Busy mornings racing to get the kids off to school, or even the approaching holiday season’s hectic pace, can affect your furry friends’ moods and health.

Cats need their routines to feel safe. “Cats develop their daily routine based on their human’s schedule and household habits,” notes Dr. John Faught. When those routines shift, they might show signs of anxiety and their physical health might even be affected.

Dogs and cats can pick up on emotional cues we give off (angry voices, stressed out expressions) and might act accordingly. Is your pet chewing up your belongings or doing things that are out of the ordinary? It might be because the household mood has shifted.

A few tips to minimize anxiety for cats and dogs during the school year:

For both cats and dogs, make changes to your routine gradually. For cats, introduce new people into the home in small chunks before you invite your child’s first overnight guest over. For dogs, avoid going from 1-hour walks to 10-minute ones. At the same time, remember that a quick morning walk with your dog is better than nothing. It helps them vent their anxiety and also tires them out, even in a small way.

Dogs might enjoy puzzles and other stimulating toys during the more quiet school year when the household changes from a busy, bustling and noisy environment into a calmer and quieter one.

If you are noticing changes to your pet’s routine and need help, please contact us 24/7 to speak to a member of our team or set up an appointment.

Firehouse also goes back to school each fall!

Dr. Jane Shaw, professor at Colorado State University, will continue to visit Firehouse and help our team improve our communication skills. We’ve learned that the better we can ask questions, the better we can understand your pet. This helps us collaborate with you to come up with the best plan as we care for your cat or dog.

Our Vet for a Day Program is a shadowing opportunity for students, offering a view into the daily activity of a veterinary hospital. Tailored to individual comfort levels, students typically join our team in exam rooms, in the treatment area, and in our dental and surgery suites to observe cases as they flow through the hospital. Although we typically donate these to school fundraisers, we can be creative on how to use them. Just let us know your ideas!

We have a number of classroom presentations that we can deliver to students, classes, or student groups. Students can tour Firehouse before or after the presentation. We tailor the information to the age group and experience of the students. Some common topics include: veterinary careers, preventive medicine, dental care, behavior and zoonoses (diseases that humans and animals share).

Students who are looking for a deeper opportunity in the animal health profession can take advantage of our Mentorships or Externships. We offer longer and more individualized programs based on the student’s goals and available time.

We love sponsorship opportunities, Vet for a Day donations, career day participation and events. We see these interactions as encouraging the next generation of veterinarians. You can contact us here to let us know how we can get involved.