Helping Our Pets Adjust to Change

Helping Our Pets Adjust to Change

Just as we have had to make changes to our routine over the past few months, our pets’ daily activities have changed, too. As we got used to less socialization, our furry friends have gotten used to more time and interaction with us while we stayed home. Though June 26 is National Bring Your Dog to Work Day, it seems like many days have been some version of it lately!

As we think about returning to the office, it is important to consider how we can best prep our pets for this adjustment as well. We’ve gathered some of the best tips we found online for you to consider during the transition.

Set a routine.
If you have enough notice, try to gradually re-introduce your pup to the daily routine. Dogs that are accustomed to a schedule tend to adjust more easily. If the time you walk or feed your pooch has changed, slowly start to change it back to how it was before. Waking up and going to bed at consistent times is helpful for them as well.

Start leaving the house more.
You know what they say, “Practice makes perfect.” For many dogs, being alone for long hours isn’t the hardest part. It’s your departure, so even if you only leave for a short walk, a drive around the neighborhood, or to sit outside for a few minutes without their company, getting them used to you leaving the house will pay off later.

Give them enough exercise and stimulation.
Think of the old adage, “A tired dog is a happy dog.” Taking your best friend for a walk or run to release pent up energy before you head out can make it easier for them to relax while you’re gone. And physical exercise isn’t the only thing to keep in mind. Make sure their minds are busy, too! Chew toys, puzzle feeders, a Kong filled with peanut butter or treats, and other activities can help keep them occupied and encourage independence. However, be sure to check with your vet first about what’s safe to leave with your dog when you won’t be around to supervise.

Utilize other resources.
If your dog is very social, consider taking them to doggy daycare or hiring a dog walker. Interacting with other dogs or a visit from a familiar face can help break up their day of alone time and ease your pup back into the rhythm of the workweek.

Be patient.
Remember, the first week back will be the toughest. It may take a little time for you and your pooch to acclimate to your old habits, and that’s okay. The reunion when you come home each evening will be even sweeter now!