Make Going Back to School in Charlotte Easy for the Whole Family

back to school in Charlotte

Summer is coming to a close and soon everyone will be getting ready to go back to school in Charlotte. Getting prepared for this can seem overwhelming when schedules change for your kids and your pets as well. Starting early to get back into a comfortable routine can make the transition back to school easy. Here are 5 tips to get you started:

1) Establish new bedtimes 

Starting about 7-10 days before the start of school, have everyone in the household start going to bed and waking up according to their school schedules. This will give the kids a chance to get their bodies used to waking up earlier, so the transition isn’t so rough. Although it will be tempting for kids to stay up late for the last few days of vacation, being consistent as the parent will help to make the first weeks of school much more pleasant for everyone.

2) Eating habits 

Another good habit to start 7 to 10 days before school begins is developing a good eating schedule. As everyone goes back to school they will need to consider breakfast, snack, lunch, and an after-school snack to keep their energy up for optimal learning.

A family trip to the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market is always a fun way to include some locally grown treats. Start planning what foods would work best for your family. Remember to take into consideration taste preference, packing considerations, self-sufficiency for packing one’s own daily needs, and budget. Start eating on a schedule that will match everyone’s day so their body can get used to the new routine.

If you need help during this busy time- whether it’s running out to get a bag of your dog’s favorite gourmet dog food, getting groceries for the kids’ lunches, or helping with other errands please let us know how we can help!

3) Get back to reading

If the kids haven’t spent as much of the summer reading books as you planned, it’s time to get back into the reading habit before school starts. Visit your local library or shop in your favorite store. If you visit the Main Library, in the Arts and Education district, you can show your kids all the quotes from historic figures about reading and learning to get them inspired. Set time aside to read for pleasure and practice at the same time. If your children like to be read to, make that part of your bedtime routine.

If you have noticed that your kids are shy about reading out loud, you have the perfect family member to help them out! Research has shown that kids are more confident about reading out loud to a dog because they love sharing time with their human friend. They don’t care if it takes a few tries to sound out a word they don’t know, and they won’t say the word too quickly in an attempt to be helpful. They will simply lay quietly and enjoy the excitement of your child reading out loud. Your child will gain confidence reading to a trusted friend.

4) Stay Connected to nature

Enjoy the end of summer by taking some family walks outside to enjoy the pleasant weather. Your pup will especially love to go along for a walk at McAlpine Creek Park. On your walks, talk about goals or hopes that each family member has for the upcoming school year. After school begins, this outdoor time can be great to discuss what everyone learned throughout the day.

As the weather changes your pets will continue to need scheduled time to get out during the day when their human friends are away. We can schedule walks that include a potty break, GPS tracked walking route, fresh water (and a treat if you would like) and a message update. You can schedule these online at Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking and see the details of our different options.

5) Make homework a priority

Set up a special study area for each student. Make sure they have the school supplies they need, and that the area is free from distractions such as social media and television.

Teaching them to concentrate on their school work when they are at their study area will make a great habit. Check in with your kids at the end of doing their homework. See if they had any questions that they need help with. Encourage them to try and figure out the answers first by themselves, knowing they have your help if they need it.

As the new school year begins, we hope that all of your family members get into a comfortable routine.  Use these tips to make back to school in Charlotte a breeze. Please contact us if we can make things easier with our dog walking, pet sitting, or errand-running services!

4 Fun Ways to Keep Your Fur Baby From Being Bored

bored dog little friends

Think about the last time that you were really, incredibly, unbearably bored. Perhaps you got restless and paced around the house, turned on Netflix and cycled through a dozen possible choices before tossing the remote in frustration, searched the refrigerator even though you weren’t really hungry. Boredom has a way of gnawing at us and sending us scrambling for something—anything!—to help us feel engaged and entertained.

Now imagine that you have that feeling, but you can’t turn on Netflix or go outside for a run. You’re stuck in the house with no one to play with and nothing to do, but the need to do something is boiling up inside you.

Put into this context, it’s suddenly a lot more understandable to see the couch cushions torn to bits, the trash strewn all over the house, the lamps toppled from the end table, and your favorite pair of slippers in pieces. When your fur baby is bored, there aren’t many outlets available, and your beloved possessions often take the toll.

The best way to deal with unwanted boredom behavior is to nip boredom in the bud. Here are four ways to keep your fur baby entertained—and your stuff safe!

1. Busy Toys

When you have to be away from your home and leave your furry friend behind, make sure you leave some toys that are safe for chewing and cannot be easily destroyed. The best ones are toys that will keep your dog entertained for long periods of time. You can try toys that have to be turned like mazes in order to dispense a treat. Other toys have a hard chew in the center that is difficult to reach. For the best results, mix up which toys you leave out so that there is always something new on hand.

2. Hit the Dog Park 

Just like us, our furry friends adjust better when they have a chance to explore the great outdoors and get some fresh air. Luckily, Charlotte boasts a number of great dog parks that can give your pup the exercise and engagement she needs. Frazier Dog Park offers walking trails and separate areas for big and little dogs to help keep playtime safe for everyone. Reedy Creek Park features a separate play area for pups adorably named Barkingham Park. Bring your dogs for some fun in the sun (or the mud)!

3. Get a Dog Walker

You can tire your pup out all you want on the weekends, but if you’re going to be away for long stretches of time during the day, there’s no way to get your fur baby the stimulation he needs without calling in some reinforcements. Finding a trusted dog walker who can become an extended family for your pooch is a great way to get him the exercise he needs even when you’re busy. You can come home to a happy pet who is ready to give you some love at the end of the day instead of an anxious pup—and a destroyed house.

4. Stay Connected

Technology is advancing in just about every area of human existence, and our furry friends aren’t getting left out of the equation. Why not equip your house with cameras and speakers that let you see and talk to your pet while you’re away? Connect the devices to your phone so that your pet never has to be alone for long.

Keeping your pet entertained and engaged isn’t just a way to keep your stuff from getting shredded. It’s a necessary component of being a good pet parent. Beat the boredom and provide your pet with the mental and physical stimulation necessary to stay happy and healthy today! At Little Friends, we help keep your dog happy with our dog walking and pet sitting services.