Tip: Stock up on toys that make them think.
Over the past few months of COVID-19 quarantine, your dog has probably gotten used to you being home all the time. This goes doubly true for dogs who were adopted during the pandemic. But as states start to reopen and people adjust to the return to "normal," dog owners have the extra task of helping their dog adjust to a lonely, empty house. And it's not a task they're taking lightly. According to a Rover.com survey, 58% of pet parents are concerned about their dog experiencing separation anxiety.
Luckily, there are things you can do now that will help your fur baby with the adjustment when the time comes. The most important, according to Dr. Hofmeister, DVM, is to give your pet alone time each day. "This is important so when you do transition to working outside the home again, your pet is used to being left in the home alone and it is less of a shock to them," Hofmeister tells Woman's Day. "We have to remember that animals sense our anxiety and stress so trying our best to keep their life as routine as possible will help to curb any possible behavior problems associated with anxiety and stress they may feel."
Of course, this isn't the only step to take, and it won't guarantee a smooth return. There will still some confusion, and possibly distress, for your pets, which can manifest itself in whining, barking, accidents and other destructive behavior. But these ideas can help ease your dog into their new normal before you go back to the office, and keep them at ease when the house is lonely.