Well, sadly summer vacation has now come to an end and kids are back to school. For many parents who walk their children to the bus stop – the family dog comes along to see the kids off. While everyone might be happy to have Fido wait with them for the bus, there are some things to consider avoiding any unfortunate incidents.

  1. The chaos with many excited and playful children can cause Fido to get excited himself. He may accidentally run loose from his owner, and in front of on-coming traffic
  2. Noises from the big yellow machine coming for the kids may scare Fido. It may cause your dog to jump, run or inadvertently hurt himself or someone else.
  3. Your cute, sweet dog can be a distraction for the bus driver, and cause an un-wanted incident/error.
  4. Some dogs may be very curious and try to run inside the bus with little Tommy. There may be children on the bus who are allergic to pets, and could have a serious reaction if Fido jumps or rubs someone without permission.
  5. If you really want to bring Fido to the bus stop, please make sure you are aware of the bus’ safety zone. Keep Fido well controlled on leash and far enough back so there are no issues.

In addition to safety around the school bus – safety in the school yard is important. Just as when we take Fido to the school bus, some parents like to bring him to the school yard at the end of the day. This may be an exciting time of day for some dogs (they may enjoy all the attention and love from children), but this may not always be a good idea for a couple of reasons. Some dogs may feel overwhelmed or threatened when approached by numerous strangers; some dogs do not feel comfortable with “small” people at their eye level; some children may have had a previous bad experience with a dog; and many of us are unaware of all the signs of fear/stress/nervousness and what to watch for from our furry companions if they are in an uncomfortable situation. For these reasons, along with unforeseen issues – it is probably best to keep Fido at home and take him for a walk with his family after school.

Everyone at Princess Animal Hospital wants to wish you a happy ‘back to school’ season. Let’s keep our kids and pets safe!

Alison, RVT