I think we can all agree that one of the best perks about working from home is being with our pets.  You never have to leave them, and they are always there when your workday is stressful.

Now that the world is finally starting to get back to normal and slowly returning to the workplace, it's time to retrain your furry friends just how to behave at home alone.  Like the rest of the world, dogs and cats had to adjust during the pandemic.  So whatever your post-pandemic world looks like, it will take some time for your pets to adapt to these new routines and changes.

A recent article from CNN shares an animal expert’s tips and tricks to utilize with your pets in an effort to acclimate them to the practice of being home alone. Keep in mind that being home alone may be a totally new experience for some pets since many pets became new members of the family during the pandemic!

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Every corporate office has a date in place for employees to return to their offices.  The animal experts from the American Veterinary Medical AssociationNorth American Veterinary Community, and Fundamentally Feline provide you with some suggestions to help your pets get accustomed to you being at work.

  • Start leaving them alone for a few hours at a time: It's not a bad idea to start to leave for a few hours a day.  This way, your pets don't get too caught off guard when you're away for eight hours a day.
  • Don't fully change your pets' routines right away: It's best to just ease their way into their post-pandemic life. Keep everything as close to their rountine as possible.  This could include their bedtime, meal time, and walk times.
  • Think about a pet sitter: If you're four-legged friend is having a hard time, it might not be a bad idea to get a pet sitter or at least a dog-walker.  This at least gives your pet some comfort.
  • Leave some distractions around: This tip is specfically geared towards cats.  Ingrid Johnson, certified cat behavior consultant with the Fundamentally Feline, indicates that cats love to listen to music or to watch videos throughout the day. Dogs like to watch videos as well, like my pup Honey.
  • Watch out for any behavioral changes: These types of behaviors could include not eating normally, not going to the bathroom properly, or any type of aniexty.
  • Bond with your animals: Take any opportunity you can to be with your pets while you're at home.  They miss you when you're away, and they need you.  Puppy or kitty cuddles are always great ideas.  Never forget that.

Overall, readjusting for any pet takes time, and each furry friend goes at its own pace.  Don't rush anything.  Always have positive reinforcements available too like treats and new toys!

Trust me...Honey is going to get a lot of those treats, especially those ice cream “pup cups.”

Diverging Diamond