As the COVID-19 lockdowns begin to ease, more and more people are heading back to work. Although you may be thrilled to get out of your home, there is one member of your household that isn’t so thrilled. This, of course, is your pet.
Your pups, in particular, may be brokenhearted to see you go. And, they will also need to embrace a brand new schedule to boot. So, how can you prepare them for this new way of life? Well, here are some guidelines to follow for the best results:
Slowly Ease Into a New Schedule
When you were in lockdown, your schedule may have shifted. You probably woke up later or had more freedom regarding when you took your dog out for toilet breaks or walks. Once you go back to work, though, your routine is going to change once more.
Now, this is something that you will need to ready your pets for. Keep in mind that they will not be able to adjust all at once. Thus, you must be making changes early and make these adjustments slowly. This will give your pets the opportunity to get used to the new routine over a period of time.
At the very least, try to make these changes at least a week before you are supposed to head to work. This way, your pet will be less likely to get upset over the shifts taking place.
Give Your Pets Plenty of Activity
You may want to get into the habit of making sure that your pet gets plenty of exercise before you leave the house. You can take dogs out for walks or play with cats. This way, they are able to work off most of their energy and may be content to nap.
By playing with your pets beforehand, you may also reduce the risk of destructive tendencies. They may be less likely to chew up shoes and other items or to climb onto surfaces where they are not allowed. This tactic also ensures that they don’t miss out on all the additional activities they got during the lockdown.
You should also give them lots of attention when you do go home. Either head outside with them or play with them. This, too, should make up for any time that you have missed out with them during the day.
Reduce How Much Time You Spend with Your Pet
Pets, especially dogs, are aware of how much time you spend with them. Therefore, they will have gotten used to the idea of having you around all day. And, when you stop being around as much, they will notice. Some experts do believe that some pets may experience separation anxiety.
This is why you will need to get them used to you not being home as much. However, once again, you do have to do this gradually. One thing that you can do is to start going for walks without your dogs. Or, just leave the house for a specific period of time.
In the beginning, leave for around half an hour or so. Then, slowly increase the amount of time that you spend away from home. By doing this, your pet becomes more accustomed to you leaving. At the same time, they understand that you will always come back as well.
When leaving for longer periods of time, make sure that there is something for your pet to do. This could include leaving out toys or providing them with food puzzles. Such things will help them to pass the time more quickly.
Take Note of Any Poor Behavior
Even with all the preparation in the world, your pet may not be ready to see you go just yet. As such, it is quite possible that they will begin engaging in various bad behaviors. This could include soiling inside the house or in inappropriate areas. They may also engage in certain destructive behaviors. They may also bark or meow excessively.
If this is something that you are noticing, then it means that your cat or dog is experiencing anxiety while you are away. It is a good idea to speak to your vet to learn how to help them cope with such behaviors. The sooner that you find a solution, the more comfortable that your pup or cat may be.
If you aren’t certain how they are reacting, you may want to set up a camera in your home. This will let you know if your pet is adjusting well or if they are struggling with the loss of you at home.
Consider Taking Your Pet to Work
Of course, it isn’t just a matter of your pet missing you. After months of being around your pets 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you are going to miss them quite a bit too. This is especially true if your cat or dog works as an emotional service animal for you. In this case, it may be even harder to make do without them.
If this is something that you are experiencing, then you should look into how to get an ESA letter from a proper agency. This is the first step in certifying your pet as an emotional service companion. In doing so, you may be able to get special permission.
Therefore, it is possible that you make be able to take your pet to work. If you can convince your company and your boss that your pet is detrimental to your emotional wellbeing, they may be more willing to allow your cat or dog to stay with you. Due to this, this is certainly an avenue that you should consider.
So, these are all the ways that you can help your pets cope with you not being at home as much. Now, they may take some time to adjust to these changes. And, you are bound to experience some bad behavior on their part. With time, however, they will get used to the idea of you going to work and settle into this new routine beautifully.