(NBC News) Fall is a busy time for many families in America.
With back to school, the start of fall sports and perhaps sending a kid to college it can be a tough transition for parents, but mom and dad aren’t the only ones feeling “empty nest” syndrome. Our furry friends must also adjust.
Pets can get bored and lonely, just like we can and leaving them alone for long periods of time can leave them longing for stimulation.
“Exercise is always a great way to avoid this, and the best way to do that is to exercise your pet as close to possible as the time that you’re leaving in the morning,” advises Marc DiCaprio of Fetch! Pet Care.
DiCaprio says with a cat, exercise can mean simply playing, using a toy to stimulate the cat’s hunting instinct. Then it can rest and recover while you’re away.
Television is also an option. A nature channel or even specialized pet videos can liven the environment.
Pet cams can be even more engaging.
“There are pet cams on the market where maybe you’re at work and can actually engage your dog by voice over the phone and peak their interest and curiosity,” DiCaprio explains.
Interactive toys, including ones that dispense treats, can help stave off pet boredom. So can leaving a window shade open for sensory stimulation.
If leaving your pet outside is not an option a pet sitter can also provide some midday exercise.