How to help your pet cope when you return to work after lockdown
Whether we like it or not, we’re slowly getting back to a new ‘normal’, now with lockdown gradually being lifted. In reality, the ones to suffer most will be our furry friends who’ve become used to having us around 24/7. So, what next? Here is what you can do to help your pet cope when you return to work and keep your great, big, happy family together.
The bright side of life during the lockdown
How much has the ‘family time’ concept improved for you over the past couple of months? I’m sure many of you will agree that (re)bonding with our family and furry friends has probably been the best thing about lockdown after all. Your cat or dog may feel their wish has finally come true: stay home with you, eat, sleep, play and repeat. Yet, we now need to help our pets adjusts to the temporary separations when we return to work.
Do you want the best care for your pet after lockdown? Contact MyOwnVet on 07 3277 6594 and rest assured your furry friend is in good hands!
What is separation anxiety and how can your pet manifest it?
Just like humans, cats and dogs can also develop separation anxiety. Technically speaking, it is an excessive display of fear and distress when faced with situations of separation from home and/or a specific attachment figure. After spending so much time together, an abrupt change may become a serious problem for your pet.
For this reason, it is important to notice their behaviour. Your pet is not bored, nor messy or noisy; your beloved furry friend may actually be in a state of panic.
Here are the most common signs of separation anxiety in dogs:
- Barking or howling
- excessive whining
- scratching at doors and windows
- chewing on the door
- panting, pacing and pawing at you
- shaking or trembling
What about cats? Despite their (apparent) independence, cats can also suffer from separation anxiety. It is, though, more difficult to spot than in a dog’s case. Some of the symptoms of separation anxiety include:
- Excessive and loud meowing
- Excessive licking and self-grooming
- Loss of appetite / Eating too fast
- Vomiting or diarrhea
Life after lockdown: tips and tricks to help your pet cope when you return to work
Imagine those irresistible puppy eyes after weeks of extra fun, attention and love. No matter how difficult it may be, you should start getting them used to the old routines again. So, the key to helping your pet adjust to life after lockdown is to make the transition as smooth as possible.
- Start to ease your pet into the routine that will be in place once you return to work. For example, on the following days, walk your dog before you would normally leave for work.
- Teach your pet to accept separation by gradually spending less time with them when you are home. Offer them individual entertainment instead (such as toys or treat puzzles).
- Leave your pet at home for short periods and give them a long-lasting treat before you leave. They will be quite busy for a while. This trick never gets old!
- Gradually increase the time you are away until you can leave your pet for a full workday. But make sure you give them all their favourite toys and treats, so they enjoy themselves while you are gone.
Further recommendations after you return to work:
- If possible, make sure your pet gets plenty of exercises (walking, playing, etc.) before you leave (especially if you have an active dog)
- Alternatively, you can look for a reliable and friendly dog walker
- Some animals can respond well to music and ambient sound, so consider leaving the radio on
- Avoid saying dramatic goodbyes to your pet when you leave or come home
At My OwnVet, you and your pet are at the heart at everything we do. If you need any advice on how to help your pet cope when you return to work, call our clinic at 07 3277 6594 today and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you!
Until next time, stay paw-sitive and may your pet successfully adapt to this ‘new normal’!
Your friend and vet expert,