Remote work has taken off across much of the world. Many readers will have gotten used to working from home. However, there is a good chance that at least some of our pet parent readers are having to get ready to make a move back into an office space. There’s also a good chance that many of you are among the new set of pandemic pet parents.
Trying to teach a puppy to accept that you sometimes have to vanish for hours at a time is tricky on its own. If a pet has grown used to an owner that is always around, it can be challenging to leave them home alone. All the dog and cat wellness plans out there won’t cure separation anxiety.
If you have to change from remote to in office work again, here are some ways to keep your pets from freaking out too much and getting used to you not being home as much.
#1 Don’t Panic!
You’ve probably heard horror stories about clinical separation anxiety that have you scrambling for a puppy insurance plan. First things first, take a deep breath. Relax. A pet wanting love and attention doesn’t necessarily mean that it has severe separation anxiety. Everyone wants a little bit of attention, animal or human. A little bit of whining is normal. Rampant chewing and scratching, maybe a little less so.
Not panicking is also a critical step in avoiding making the situation worse. If you are uptight and tense about leaving, your pet will pick up on this. When you do have to leave the house, don’t act like you are nervously sneaking away. Calmly and confidently head out, and calmly and confidently return. This teaches your pet that your coming and going is perfectly normal.
#2 Never Reward Needy Behavior
Dogs whine and chew, cats yowl and scratch. No matter how your pet expresses its neediness, you must never reward it. Never give treats to a dog who is whining, for example.
Instead, you should be rewarding pets that obey your commands as part of obedience training. If it’s a struggle, you might want to look beyond your dog wellness plan into obedience classes for dogs or cats.
#3 Practice Makes Perfect
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Fido won’t become self-sufficient overnight. Even before you start leaving for work, you can practice establishing boundaries at home. Baby gates or other dividers are excellent for this. Practice putting your pet in one room and rewarding them if they stay calm even when they can’t reach you. After a while, you can increase the distance and time you spend apart. A pet that you constantly spoil with attention will have difficulty adjusting to your return to the office.
#4 Warm Up To It
Once you’ve gotten used to practicing around the house, it’s time to start some trial runs. Your pet doesn’t have a very good sense of time. They don’t understand that on a specific date, things are going to have to change. To them, every day is the same as any other. You must make it a gradual change rather than a sudden shift. Find a place to work outside of the home and slowly start spending more and more time there.
It’s essential to get pets used to a fixed schedule with you leaving in the morning. A good tip is to spend some extra time with them before work starts. Go for a walk with your dog, or play with your cat. This gets them some exercise (a vital part of any dog wellness plan or cat wellness plan) and burns off excess energy.
It’s also vital to remember that pets are pretty clever when noticing our rituals. If you always leave after drinking a coffee, they’ll associate coffee drinking with you heading out. Developing a standard morning routine helps them reduce anxiety - and will help you adjust to your new job better!
#5 Don’t Be Scared to Ask For Assistance
Regret is never fun. It’s especially painful if it is attached to a pet you’ve come to love. Sometimes we feel that our pet purchase may have been foolish or rash. This discourages us from admitting that we need any kind of help.
However, never be afraid to ask a friend or family member to pet sit when you feel like you can’t handle it. You can even look into paid pet watching services to cover portions of your time. Calling in the backup should be seen as admitting a mistake. Instead, it shows that you are going the extra mile to keep your pet happy and safe.
Taking care of a new pet is difficult. Having to manage their health and wellbeing adds a whole new complication. Thankfully, whether you need dog wellness plans or cat wellness plans, Wagmo is here to cover for you. That way, you can focus on making the most of your time with your new friend and committing to your new routine together.