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Acclimating Your Pets to the New Normal (Again)

Small Dog Looking Wistfully Out a Window at HomeMany Granite Shoals 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 traumatic on your pets. After a lot of time together, being separated can cause your pets to undergo high anxiety levels, giving rise to some destructive or otherwise unwanted behaviors. To help acclimate your pet to your new work routine and keep these behaviors under control, below are a few tips you can implement immediately and throughout the next few months.

Day Care

Perhaps you are concerned about leaving your pet home alone. Or they show signs of stress or boredom (peeing on the floor, excessive barking, spraying furniture, or chewing items). Look at 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 need to go back to the office, it can help toward easing the transition.

Crate Training

For dogs, you may want to implement crate training if you haven’t done it before. Even though it isn’t right for all dogs, others like the security of being inside a crate while you are gone. You may make their time inside the crate more comfortable by providing them with a plush bed and chew toys. Please remember that crate training may take some time, so begin as soon as you can and anticipate some complaining first.

Enrichment Toys

Boredom is a prime source of why pets become destructive. To save your furniture and your sanity, you could 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 begin to associate the fun playtime with your absence and help them feel less anxious. For dogs, chew toys, puzzle toys, balls, and obstacle courses are all excellent ways to keep them busy. For cats and other pets, providing areas for them to climb, “hunt” for treats or objects, or motion-activated toys they can chase are great options.

Doggy Camera

If you choose to go high-tech with your pet care, consider purchasing a “doggy” camera for your house. There are a lot of different types of cameras, but they all allow you to keep an eye on your pet while you are at work. Other cameras will even dispense treats and/or let you talk to your pet through a speaker. (Many of these need a robust WiFi signal and a smartphone app to use.)

Together Time

Ultimately, if you forecast a routine change, one of the best things you can do is continue prioritizing your time with your pet. For example, 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 return home. This is critically valuable for dogs, who need to walk with you regularly to feel calm and happy. By creating a new routine around your work routine that includes your pet, you can help ease their anxiety and encourage them to wait patiently before you arrive each evening.

Returning to working outside the home can be a tough adjustment for both you and your pet. Yet, by using these tips, you can make that transition a bit easier. Other choices 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 Highland has your answer. Our Granite Shoals property managers would be delighted to assist you, and your pet discovers a new place to reside. Contact us online today!

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