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Acclimating Your Pets to the New Normal (Again)

Small Dog Looking Wistfully Out a Window at HomeMany Washington residents have spent at least part of the past year working from home. Some have been working from home for even longer but are now heading back to the office. That transition can be especially stressful on your pets. After so much time together, being separated can cause your pets to experience high anxiety levels, resulting in some destructive or otherwise unwanted behaviors. To help acclimate your pet to your new work routine and keep these behaviors under control, here are a few tips you can implement immediately and throughout the next few months.

Day Care

Maybe you’re worried about leaving your pet home alone. Or they’re exhibiting signs of stress or boredom (peeing on the floor, excessive barking, spraying furniture, or chewing items). Consider having someone stay with your pet for at least part of the day or take them to a playgroup. If you introduce your pet’s new caregiver before you have to go back to the office, that can go a long way toward easing the transition.

Crate Training

For dogs, you need to implement crate training if you haven’t already done so. Although it isn’t right for all dogs, others like the security of being inside a crate while you are gone. To make their time in the crate more relaxing, provide a plush bed and chew toys. Just bear in mind that crate training may take some time, so get started as soon as you can and anticipate some complaining first.

Enrichment Toys

Boredom is a major factor why pets become destructive. To save your furniture and your sanity, you might consider leaving your pet with some enrichment toys while you are at work. If you give the toys to your pet only while you are gone, they may learn to associate the fun playtime with your absence and help them feel less anxious. For dogs, chew toys, puzzle toys, balls, and obstacle courses can all be great approaches to keep them occupied. For cats and other pets, providing areas for them to climb, “hunt” for treats or objects, or motion-activated toys they can chase is a good idea.

Doggy Camera

If you’d prefer to go high-tech with your pet care, you could consider purchasing a “doggy” camera for your house. There are multiple different types of cameras, but they all let you keep an eye on your pet while you are at work. Certain cameras will even dispense treats and/or let you talk to your pet through a speaker. (Most require a reliable WiFi signal and a smartphone app to use.)

Together Time

At last, if you predict a routine change, one of the best things you can do is continue prioritizing your time with your pet. For illustration, try to arrange your daily routine so that you and your pet can enjoy a walk or some playtime before you leave, and then again as soon as you arrive home. This is especially critical for dogs, who need to walk with you regularly to feel calm and happy. By arranging a new routine around your work routine that includes your pet, you can help ease their anxiety and encourage them to wait patiently until you return each evening.

Returning to working outside the home can be a tough adjustment for both you and your pet. However, by adopting these tips, you can handle that transition a bit easier. Another alternative to ease your transition back to work might include things like living closer to your job or moving to a more pet-friendly rental home or neighborhood. If your lifestyle could use an upgrade and a new place to live, Real Property Management Southern Utah can help. Our Washington property managers will be eager to help you, and your pet discovers a new place to live. Contact us online today!

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