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Acclimating Your Pets to the New Normal (Again)

Small Dog Looking Wistfully Out a Window at HomeMany Keller 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 severe on your pets. After so much time together, being separated can cause your pets to feel high anxiety levels, bringing about some destructive or otherwise unwanted behaviors. To help acclimate your pet to your new work routine and keep these behaviors under control, here are some tips you can implement immediately and throughout the next few months.

Day Care

Possibly you’re nervous about leaving your pet home alone. Or they’re showing 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 need to go back to the office, that can go far toward easing the transition.

Crate Training

For dogs, it is important to implement crate training if you haven’t already done as such. While it isn’t right for all dogs, others like the security of being inside a crate while you are gone. You can furnish the crate with a plush bed and chew toys to make their time there more relaxed. Simply know that crate training may take some time, so begin as early as possible and get ready for some complaining first.

Enrichment Toys

Boredom is a possible explanation for why pets get destructive. To save your furniture and your sanity, start 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 are all effective options to keep them entertained. For cats and other pets, establishing places for them to climb, “hunt” for treats or objects, or motion-activated toys they can chase are excellent options.

Doggy Camera

If you opt to go high-tech with your pet care, you could consider installing a “doggy” camera for your house. There are a few different types of cameras, yet they all permit you to keep an eye on your pet while you are at work. A few cameras will even dispense treats and/or let you talk to your pet through a speaker. (Majority of them need a solid WiFi signal and a smartphone app to use.)

Together Time

Finally, if you anticipate 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 get home. This is especially important for dogs, who need to walk with you regularly to feel calm and happy. By establishing 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 come home each evening.

Returning to working outside the home can be a hard adjustment for both you and your pet. But by utilizing these tips, you can make that transition a bit easier. Other ways 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 Meridian has everything you want. Our Keller property managers would be glad to support you, and your pet locates a new home to stay. Contact us online today!

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