The COVID-19 pandemic has been around for a while now. We’ve all made some adjustments in our lives to one extent or another. One big change for many of us was the switch from working in an office to working from a home office (or the dining room table).
These days, people are starting to look toward returning to some form of our pre-pandemic lives. That includes many whose employers are considering bringing everyone back into the office.
This change might fill you with excitement or it might make you a little nervous. It can be concerning, especially if you’ve been spending most of your days at home with the pets in your lives.
Cats and dogs have certainly made adjustments right along with us humans. They may be loving the fact that you’re home all day long, having settled into your home office where they can keep an eye (or paw) on you.
But how will our pets adjust as we start to leave home more often? Here are some tips to help you and your pet prepare for post-pandemic living.
Observe Your Pets for Anxiety
You may have heard of separation anxiety with humans. Pets can experience this too. While they can’t tell us in our own language if they’re anxious about your increasing absence, there are some signs to watch out for.
So what is one sign that your pet is experiencing anxiety? A common one is arriving home to find your furniture or belongings chewed up, clawed up or generally destroyed—especially if you’ve recently started commuting to the office again. Your pet might also relieve himself in inappropriate places throughout your house or he may start grooming himself excessively.
As you begin to leave home more often, watch your pet for these signs so you can help him better adjust to your post-pandemic lifestyle. If necessary, call your veterinarian to get a little help.
Keep Those Pets Moving
One thing you can do to help mitigate the stress of your increasing absence is exercise your pets. If you have a dog, you’ve likely walked him a little more often as you spent more time at home. He’s become used to all that increased exercise, so it’s important that you keep it going even as you head out of the house more often.
Similarly, if you have a cat, she needs exercise too. Yes, it’s good for her physical health. But it can also help burn off some extra energy that she might otherwise spend clawing up your favorite chair upon your return to work.
Make Quality Time
Even as your schedule starts to fill up again, be sure to make time for your pets. That may mean you’ll have to be more intentional with setting your schedule. For instance, you might want to delay a lunch date with a friend so you can spend 15 more minutes snuggling with your dog or cat.
You and your pet have bonded during the pandemic and you’ll want to keep that bond strong. Ensuring that you spend a few minutes with your pet each day will help them be a little happier and a little less anxious about your increasing post-pandemic absence.
Practice Makes Perfect
Another thing that can help your pets adjust to post-pandemic life is a bit of training. VCA Hospitals notes that focused training can be useful for those of us who want to help our pets adjust to our being away from home more often. Training can take some time, so you’ll need a little patience and a little planning. If you have a return date for your office commute, or even a week-long vacation planned, training your pet before you leave can be a helpful tool to prevent him from stressing out.
Post-pandemic living is going to be sweet. With a bit of awareness and some planning, you can help your pet adjust to life after the pandemic. Knowing your pet is doing well will also give you some peace of mind when you head back to your office or take that long-awaited vacation.