Change is never easy, especially for some of our pets (and us). Many of our pets have grown accustomed to having us around all the time, and have enjoyed the extra time. With workplaces opening back up, we all have to get back “into the groove” of going back to work like we did before the pandemic shut things down.
Although for us it only means a few days (or weeks) of dreary eyes and glaring at our business wear, for our pets it can cause a lot more disruption and anxiety to be left alone again. In some pets, the sudden change to their routine again may cause separation anxiety or increase existing anxieties.
To help ease your pet through the transition, you can follow these steps to slowly get back into the routine:
1. Go back to your regular morning routine. Wake up at the regular time, shower etc, have breakfast and leave at the usual time you would go. You don’t need to actually go away for 8+ hours, be gone for just a few minutes and then come back. The idea is to get your pet used to you doing this again.
2. Slowly, day by day increase your time away. Go for walks by yourself, go for groceries etc. If at any point your pet shows signs of distress – barking, scratching, peeing/ pooping where they do not usually, chewing inappropriately (couches, cords) stop and go back to a timeline that didn’t stress them out. The idea is to limit their stress while re-introducing them to being alone.
3. If you have been letting your pet out more often during the day to pee/poop, start limiting that time to get them used to it again. Same idea as leaving, slowly day by day limit the outside breaks / mid-day walks until they are back to where they were before.
Watch the video linked above from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Assosciation (OVMA) on how to help your pet with separation anxiety. They explain these tips and a few more on how to help your pet during this transition period.
Again, some pets will not have any issues and will adjust easily. Other pets may have a harder time coping. For those pets, we suggest using these tips, and if your pet still isn’t adjusting to the changes at all we have pheromone products as well as other medications that can help with the adjustment period (collars, plug in diffusers and sprays).
If your pet is having trouble adjusting to you going back to work, give us a call. We can schedule you in with the doctor who can go over all the options and discuss your pet’s specific case.