Prepping Your Pet for Your Return to Work

Photo: Cheryl G.

This week Governor Wolf began lifting some of the stay-at-home orders meaning that some people are heading back to work.

What does that mean for your pets? One of the biggest positive effects of the quarantine has been the rise in pet adoptions and the amount of time we are able to spend with our pets.

It is great news that more cats and dogs have been adopted, but it means new pet owners have a responsibility to properly train their new companions before they go back to work full-time. Even if you have had pets for years, this adjustment might be difficult for them as you head back to work.

There are steps we can take now to prepare for the days when we return to work in the future:

  1. Walk: Continue to walk your dog even after you go back to work; it is good for both of you.
  2. Leave: Go outside to garden or hang laundry and leave your dog inside so that he gets used to being alone.
  3. Dress: Get dressed like you are going to work and take a drive alone.
  4. Children: If you have children, take them with you so that your dog can slowly get used to being alone.
  5. Crate: If your dog typically spends time in a crate during the day, begin slowly by crating him for a time during the day and then increase the time increments.
  6. Schedule: Pets and people alike thrive on a schedule. Begin working toward your regular schedule. You will find that your pet will adjust to the routine.

There are a lot of unknowns in this new post-lockdown world. It is important to know the signs of separation anxiety so you can get help for your pooch immediately.

As you begin to get ready to leave for work, your pet may begin to show signs of stress or agitation – pacing or panting – or they may seem depressed prior to your departure. Your dog may begin barking and or howling within minutes of you closing the front door.

Not all dogs suffer from separation anxiety, but for those who do, it needs to be addressed quickly. It is very common for dogs suffering from separation anxiety to be quite destructive while you are out. Remember that your pets are sensitive to change and can develop anxiety easily. The smoother you make the transition the happier you both will be.

For more tips on how to manage separation anxiety in your pets, click here.

If you continue to struggle with separation anxiety, consider seeking the help of a professional. Braxton’s has a list of local pet resources and referrals for you to consult.

Best of luck to everyone as you return to work.

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