Both dogs and cats are creatures of habit. If you’ve been at home with them during the pandemic, they have gotten use to having you around all day. Before going back to work, a gentle transition can help establish a routine that is critical for their well-being and long-term happiness.
Introduce the new workday routines including feeding/watering and walking as you would for your expected workday routine. Introduce a consistent departure schedule that builds on that routine.
Before leaving, engage your dog in rigorous play or physical activity. Consider taking him or her for a morning walk or run, playing fetch or even, reviewing dog training commands. Burning-off energy can help keep pets be calm and relaxed for longer periods while you’re gone. Use treats as a reward. www.lovingpetsproducts.com
Reduce their anxiety
Practice short departures without long good-byes on a daily basis, gradually extending the time you are gone. If signs of anxiety occur—such as destructive activity—don’t punish your pet but consider giving him a calming CBD chew. CBDLivingPet.com
Keep them engaged while you are gone
Long-lasting treats, food puzzles, and automatic feeders can help keep pets occupied throughout the day. Cats love puzzle toys, too. Hire a a dog walker, if necessary. Dog walkers and pet sitters need to go back to work, too!
Create a safe space
If you typically used a crate while you were gone during the day, but have stopped while at home, now is a good time to either explore discontinuing the crate (gradually increasing the length of time you’re away) or reintroducing a crate while still working away from home. You want even want to consider a calming bed to reduce his anxiety
Introduce background noise
Leave on a TV, radio, or sound machine to provide some company while you’re away. Studies have shown classic music, and manufactured pet music, can help to ease his stress.
Talk to your veterinarian
Concerns about behavior, stress, health and well-being may require a consultation with a dog’s veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.
For more information about about these products and techniques to reduce anxiety in your pet as you return to work, listen to “Back-to-Work Preparedness for Pandemic Pets” on the The Pet Buzz episode the week of June 20th on Apple iTunes or watch Charlotte’s latest TV segment.