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    PREPARING YOUR DOG OR CAT FOR THE END OF LOCKDOWN

    26 November 2021

    Restrictions are gradually being eased in some areas and you may be returning to the office soon. For weeks or months on end, your pets got a chance to spend all day with you. When you go back to the office, the change in routine may affect them.

    A lot of cats will be all too happy to have their personal space and alone time back. They’ll just nap in the sun as per usual until you get home from work. But some cats love to be near their humans and may find it tougher to adjust to your absence.

    And it will probably stress your dog out to see you head back to the daily grind after they’ve gotten to spend so much time with you.

    Globalvet has tips on preparing your four-legged friend for your return to the office, without affecting the rich and special relationship you’ve built with them over the past few months. The goal of our recommendations is to encourage a healthy attachment, so your pet is comfortable being left on their own when you’re out of the house.

    • From now until you go back to the office, start putting your dog in a separate room or in their crate for a while when you’re not at home. Gradually increase the amount of time you leave them on their own. If you have a puppy that hasn’t been crate trained yet, now is a good time to start.
    • Associate being alone with something positive by giving your dog a treat they can enjoy safely, such as a Kong® filled with canned food.
    • Put soft music on while you’re away. Music has been shown to have a positive effect on some animals. Although there is no scientific proof that music is beneficial to household pets, some research suggests that classical music, with repetitive sounds and muted tones, seems to have a calming effect on a lot of cats and dogs. Here’s a tip to increase the benefits of playing music for your pet when you’re away: play the same music from time to time when you’re at home and cuddling with your pet. Your pet will associate the music with the positive experience. Check out this playlist for cats and this one for dogs.
    • Be calm and caring when you leave the house. Before you leave, give your dog something to enjoy while you’re out, such as a Kong® Classic filled with canned food. Get them to sit, offer them the toy, and tell them you’ll see them later. A smooth departure and an established routine will help your pet stay calm when you head out the door.
    • When you come home, your pet will be happy to see you—and surely the feeling will be mutual! If your dog is incredibly hyper and excited when you get home, help them deal with their overwhelming emotions by asking them to sit and giving them a bit of attention.
    • You can leave your dog a shirt you wore the day before so they have your scent, which can help calm them down.
    • Set up a camera for when you’re not home. You can check to see how they’re behaving and adjust your actions accordingly if they’re showing signs of anxiety.
    • Take your dog for a walk when you wake up or before you leave for work so they can expend some of the energy they would have used playing with you throughout the day during lockdown.
    • Did you know there are natural products out there to help reduce your pet’s anxiety? If your fur baby doesn’t like being left at home alone, they may find these products comforting. Talk to the staff at your Globalvet clinic to find out which product is right for your pet! You can also buy products online from your clinic’s store.

    Even if you aren’t going back to the office in the next few weeks, it’s a good idea to get your pet used to being left alone for periods of time, like they were before lockdown. Leave your dog at home alone a few times a week or put them in their crate where they can’t see you. For more tips on how to juggle working from home and spending time with your cat or dog, check out our articles on the topic!

    If you have a return date for the office, start gradually adjusting your routine to resemble what it will be like when you go back. You can also teach your pet to use food dispensing toys (like Pipolino®, Kong Wobbler®, and Kong®) that you can give them when you go back to work and start spending more time out and about. You’ll find a great selection in our online store.

    If your return to work is a bit bumpy for you and your pet despite these recommendations, get in touch with your Globalvet team for personalized advice based on your pet’s needs. We’ll do everything we can to help you find a solution that makes your furry friend comfortable and happy!

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