Returning to Work & Your Pet

Dog staring out window at home

As many of us spent more time at home over the past several months than ever before, we were able to enjoy a lot more quality time with our furry friends. Whether you’ve been working from home or spending more time around the house on evenings and weekends, your pet has probably gotten used to having you around all the time.   

However, as the country slowly reopens, it’s important to do your best to keep your pet comfortable if you’re returning to work. 

Getting Back to Your Old Routine 

As a result of spending more time at home, you and your four-legged family member have probably both experienced a shift in your daily routine. From sleeping in a bit later to sitting by your side while you work, it will likely take some time for your pet to readjust when you head back to work. If you also have kids at home who will be returning to school, the transition may be even harder for your furry friend. As most kids probably spent the majority of summer vacation at home this year, there was a lot more time for them to bond with your pet during days filled with play.   

Our pets are creatures of habit who thrive on routine, so if you have enough notice, do your best to slowly ease them back into their old routine. To get your pet used to being home alone again, try leaving the house more frequently without them. You can start off with short outings and slowly increase the duration so your pet will get used to spending longer periods of time alone. It’s also important to make sure you’re no longer playing with or feeding your furry friend during the time you’d normally be at work or the kids would be at school. If your pet was roaming free while you were home but would typically be crated or in a gated off section while you’re at work or the kids are at school, consider doing so again before you head back.   

Transitioning from having someone around all the time to spending long periods alone each day will likely be tough on your pet, so make sure you and your family shower them with plenty of love and attention each time you return home! 

Signs of Anxiety & Stress 

Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try to prevent it there is always the chance that your beloved companion will feel anxious or stressed. After heading back to work, make sure to closely monitor your pet’s behaviour for signs of separation anxiety or stress. Some of the signs of an anxious or stressed cat include diarrhea, over-grooming, destructive behaviour and taking care of their business outside of their litter box. For dogs, they may exhibit destructive behaviour such as chewing or destroying furniture, persistent barking or howling and going to the bathroom indoors. 

Reducing Anxiety & Stress 

If you suspect your pet may be suffering from separation anxiety or stress, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate way to treat it. Depending on your veterinarian’s advice, consider using a calming aid to help ease their anxiety and help them feel more comfortable at home alone.

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