The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed numerous aspects of lives. Before the outbreak, going to work every morning or partying all night with your friends wasn’t a big deal. These days, access to the outside world has become limited due to the regulations imposed to reduce the spread of the virus. During the time you have worked remotely, your pets have perhaps gotten used to your presence, and your relationship with them significantly changed. But as the world economy begins to reopen, you will probably return to the office, and your relationship with the pet will change again. Below are some of the ways you can help your pets cope.
1. Create a Routine
Like children, pets survive on a routine, but the difference is that you cannot sit them down and explain the changes. Your pet has gotten used to your presence, and your unexpected absence for extended periods can lead to separation anxiety. While you cannot vindicate your absence, you can gradually prepare your pet for this change by creating a routine. Although the lockdown might have minimized your inclination to stick to an established schedule, the time to change has come. Set a specific time for various activities, including walking, exercise, play, meals, and bedtime. However, ensure this routine you create is the one you will follow when you return to the office to enable your pet to adapt to the new lifestyle.
2. Leave Your Pets Alone
While it might be difficult for you, allowing your pet to stay alone is an integral part of this process. By doing this, you will help your pets manage to self-soothe and enjoy their own company. Start small- don’t leave them alone for hours during the start. Begin with short sessions of an hour or two and then increase the duration slowly. Increase the period of your absence depending on your pets’ behavior and anxiety. Since this is a learning curve, be patient, monitor their behavior constantly, and have realistic expectations.
3. Create a Safe Haven for Your Pets
A safe haven refers to a room or spot where your pet feels comfortable. However, this spot might have changed since you started working remotely. For example, if your pet has been spending a considerable amount of time in your home office, they may want to stay there when left alone. Ensure you provide them with a convenient, cozy spot that will give them a small section of your home where they can relax, sleep, eat, and get comfortable.
4. Ensure Your Return Is Special
Pets, particularly dogs, tend to become so happy when you return home, not because they will now get a meal or a chance to go out but because your company makes them happy. Take some time with your pets and let them know you’re also excited to see them. This quality time you spend with your pets once you get home assures them that you will be coming home safely every day.
5. Check for Signs of Anxiety
Besides missing you, other stimuli in your home can affect your pets while you are at work. Most pets, especially dogs, become vigilant when left alone because they get worried. Familiar sounds, like street traffic, can become scarier when you are gone. As a result, your pets can start chewing furniture, pooping and peeing indoors, barking continuously, and other destructive behaviors. If you notice any of these signs, identify the triggers and figure out how you can address them. Since anxiety can affect your pets’ health, it’s crucial you get affordable pet insurance to stay protected from the distress of unexpected pet medical care costs.
6. Change the Feeding Place
Feeding your pets in a room where they cannot see you is another excellent way of dealing with separation anxiety. Gradually, your pets will start learning that getting separated from you can be enjoyable.
Always know that pets have good observation skills. If you get depressed about leaving them, they will notice your sadness, inadvertently raising their anxiety levels. However, the guidelines outlined above will help your pets quickly cope with your absence when you return to the office. Your pets have helped you cope during these challenging times, so ensure you prepare them adequately for the post-pandemic world.
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