How to Help Pets Adjust to Life After Quarantine


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As communities across the country begin to adjust their shelter in place orders, many Americans are returning to the office – which also means leaving our furry friends behind. And after three months of being home 24/7, this change can be a big stressor for pets.

To help smooth this transition, here are a few tips for retailers to share with pet parents who are going back to work.

 

1. Prepare in advance
If possible, introduce incremental changes to your pet’s routine before you actually stop working from home. These changes might include:

• Getting up earlier and altering mealtimes.  

• Leaving the house for progressively longer periods during the day.

• Putting on office appropriate clothes and carrying your work bag.

• Giving your pet a treat before you leave to make the experience more positive.

• Utilizing a pet gate or crate for naptimes like you would during the workday.

 

2. Make time for exercise
Physical activity is a great stress reliever for humans and pets alike! So, be sure to include time at the beginning of the day for exercise, such as a walk or play time. 

 

3. Keep pets occupied
Prevent pets from becoming bored (which can lead to unwanted behaviors) by providing distractions, like a white noise machine or radio, and engaging activities, like long-lasting treats or puzzle toys.

 

4. Know the signs of stress
Anxiety can manifest in pets in a number of ways, including excessive barking and whining, destructive behaviors, inappropriate urination or defecation, excessive pacing or lethargy.

If your pet continues to exhibit symptoms of stress, consult your veterinarian for coping ideas and consider hiring extra help, such as a dog walker, to provide comfort during the day.

 

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