As Virginia enters Phase 3 of Reopening, many are returning to work for the first time after months of restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Not only will this change be an adjustment for you, but your pets will also feel the impact of a new routine and not having their owner(s) home for the first time in months. Additionally, many families chose to adopt pets during the pandemic. Because they were home and able to dedicate time to introducing their new pet into their family, it was a good time to devote time to their new pet! Our pets are creatures of habit and get used to our routines, which means that many of these newly adopted pets have never known a world in which you leave for work every morning or the kids leave for school. It’s important to slowly start getting your pet used to this new normal. Follow these 10 tips to make this transition as smooth as possible!
1. Slowly start introducing your workday routine.
Get your pet used to getting up, fed, and walked at a specific time. Then, you can start introducing your departure by leaving the house for increasingly longer times.
2. Practice your departure.
Once your pet is used to your new routine, you can start introducing your departure. You can practice by leaving the house for increasingly longer times each day.
3. Make it a fun and rewarding experience.
To make your departure a more positive experience, try giving your pet a small treat every time you walk out the door. It helps to condition them to find you leaving to be a rewarding activity.
4. If you see signs of anxiety, don’t punish!
If your pet becomes anxious about you leaving, remember that punishing your pet will only make departure time more stressful. Instead, go back a step and leave for shorter amounts of time. Exude a calm demeanor whenever you exit and return to your house.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
If you begin to notice destructive behavior or anxiety in your pet, there are supplements that can help. For example, Calming Care and Solliquin are supplements you can give to help lessen anxiety in your pet. Some of these supplements take time to work, so you may want to start them before your new routine begins. You can learn more about these supplements here (https://biglickvet.com/managing-canine-anxiety-supplements/).
6. Exercise, exercise, exercise!
Not only is exercise great for your pet’s health, it can also help to reduce anxious behavior. A tired pet is a more calm pet and burning energy can help to keep pets relaxed. Before you leave for the day, engage in play and activity!
7. Engage your pet in fun activities.
Long last treats, food puzzles, and slow feeders can help keep your pet occupied. See the bottom of this post for a delicious recipe from our Technican Stephanie that you can use to freeze and stuff in a Kong for your dog.
8. Make a safe space for your pet.
If you plan to crate your dog while at work but haven’t been using it during the pandemic, then now is the best time to get your pet used to it by reintroducing them to their crate while you’re home. You can gradually increase the amount of time they’re in their crate every day.
9. Watch out for signs of stress.
If you notice anxious behaviors like barking, whining, agitation, destructive behavior, or inappropriate urination/defecation, consider getting a camera with which you can monitor your pet while away. You can use what you observe to make their time at home alone less stressful.
10. Let us know if you have questions!
If you have concerns about this transition, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by email at email@example.com or by phone at 540-776-0700. We can discuss supplements/medication, techniques, and tools for making this adjustment as stress-free as possible for your pet.
Stephanie’s XL Kong Snack Prep:
– For those folks who can only give their dogs a KONG, these bone molds fit quite nicely inside a XLarge KONG!
– What you’ll Need: XLarge KONG, silicone bones mold, bananas, yogurt, apple, pear, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peanut butter. Do NOT use grapes as they are toxic to dogs and make sure the peanut butter you use is xylitol free.
1. Mix apples, bananas, yogurt, pear, blueberries, and raspberries together and spoon into the silicone bone mold.
2. Freeze overnight.
3. Smear XL Kong with peanut butter and stuff the Kong with the frozen yogurt bone.
4. Freeze again or not – your choice!
What’s So Great About it:
-Great way to cool off this summer!
-Keeps doggos busy
-Great source of micronutrients and antioxidants