Preparing Our Pets for Our Return to Work


Since the pandemic took hold and many of us with pets have been working from home, we've been grappling with virtual technology in our sweatpants while our pets have been happily snoozing away at our feet.  With different businesses cautiously reopening, some of us will get the call to return to work soon.  So what can we do to prepare our pets for the sad reality that we're not going to be by their side 24/7 for much longer?

Here are some tips to help them re-adjust to the old schedule:

  • If you've changed your pet's feeding schedule since you've been home (and added extra meals), get back to their old schedule, which you can maintain upon returning to work

  • Dog walkers should return to early morning pre-work and evening post-work schedules

  • Start leaving home more frequently now, for longer periods of time.  Let your pet see you go away, but come back

  • Pets read our cues like experts.  If you normally wear certain clothes, grab the same lunch bag or give them a treat before leaving for work, begin these rituals now while you leave for these “trial excursions”

When you actually do return to work, consider the following suggestions:

  • Leave some music playing for your pets.  Classical is soothing, and so is reggae

  • Before you head out the door, give your pets a puzzle game or toys stuffed with treats that will require work to get the goodies.  It'll tire them out mentally, which leads to more napping, less stress

  • Put a little extra love and excitement in your return at the end of the day. Let them know you missed them

Less time with pets will be sad for humans as well, and there's the stress of the uncertainty of so many things.  Experts advise us to take things day by day, and slowly adjust to it all.  And our pets can help us simply by being there; for snuggling, napping or sharing a brisk walk.  As we help them adjust to the days ahead, they will surely help us, too.

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