Consider your furry friends this National Back to School Prep Day


When routines change as kids go back to school, it’s important to help promote pets’ health and well-being while adjusting to the new schedule

August signifies the final month of summer and with that, children heading back to school, and a consequent change in routines for both families and their pets. A survey conducted by the IAMS brand found that 73% of pet owners see at least 1 form of undesirable behavior in their pets when kids return to school, and that 1 in 3 pets gain weight during this time.1

Photo courtesy of the IAMS brand.

Photo courtesy of the IAMS brand.

However, this survey1 also found that 1 in 3 pet parents don’t consider this change in routine for pets when school season kicks in again as they are primarily focused with getting their kids adjusted. With today marking National Back to School Prep Day, the IAMS brand, part of the Mars family of brands, has shared pointers from Laura Robinson, DVM, and pet behavior consultant for Mars Petcare, Jessa Paschke, on smoothing the transition for pets and ensuring pets maintain their health and well-being2:

  • Outline a new routine and remain consistent with enforcing new habits each day throughout the transition and the school year.
  • Start leaving your pet alone for longer periods of time gradually to help them build confidence and better acclimate to the change.
  • Offer them a treat or toy that provides mental stimulation when leaving them alone as a distraction.
  • Make sure their energy needs are being met through walks either early in the morning or in the evening. Doggy day care or dog walkers can also be good options.
  • Avoid overfeeding as they may be getting less exercise when the kids are at school so consider reviewing feeding guidelines on their food or reducing their caloric intake so they don't gain weight.

Additionally, 2 products IAMS recommends2 are the WHISTLE smart device to gain insights on your dog's activity levels, behavior and food/water intake to remain aware of habits that may go unnoticed; and the PETconnect, a free wellness and nutritional chat service available on that provides answers regarding your pet from a licensed veterinary technician or a nutrition advisor.

"The back-to-school season is an adjustment period for the whole family, including our pets," said Fawad Farrukh, Vice President of IAMS Brand Marketing for Mars Petcare North America.2 "Because IAMS is on a mission to go further to keep pets healthy for life, we want to equip pet parents to smooth this transition time for their pets."


  1. The IAMS brand partnered with Atomik Research to conduct and online survey among a sample of n = 1,004 parents who have cats and/or dogs in their household, as well as children between the ages of 5 and 18 in school. The survey was conducted between July 21 – July 25, 2023.
  2. The IAMS brand helps pet parents keep their pets' health top-of-mind this back-to-school season. News release. IAMS brand. August 15, 2023. Accessed August 15, 2023.
Recent Videos
Grooming a dog
Related Content
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.