Emotions are running high right now. Some people are concerned they could become sick if they go to work.
Others are worried about how to pay the mortgage and other bills since they were recently laid off. Still others are navigating this new way of learning called “homeschooling”.
At first, staying home for a few days sounded like a much-needed vacation. But several weeks later, stress is building up in us and our pets.
Dogs are emotional beings, just like animals. And they can mirror our emotions.
For instance, I can be working at my computer and when something doesn’t go right, I pound the desk in frustration.
Then I notice, out of the corner of my eye, Zippy, my 11 ½-year-old yellow Lab, get up from where he had been sleeping, duck his head, and quietly leave the room.
He picked up on my frustration which wasn’t directed at him at all.
Since you don’t have to get up for work, you may have started sleeping in and your dog has missed his morning walk. Perhaps you’ve been making more trips to the refrigerator and your pup has been getting more treats too. Obesity can cause a host of problems but that’s a topic for another blog.
It’s possible your pet has adjusted well to you being at home more, but he might develop separation anxiety when you head back to the office and the kids go back to school. That’s why it’s important to think ahead and take steps now to prevent the anxiety from developing in the first place.
Stick to a schedule
Recreate the schedule you had before Covid-19 got in the way. Get up at the same time, feed your dog at his regular time, take him for a walk or otherwise spend some time with him before you leave.
You can even put him in his crate and head out the door for a walk around the block by yourself or to get groceries, etc. Do this a couple of times a day, especially if he was used to being in a crate during your absence.
If you work from home, give your dog a quiet place to relax when you’re on a zoom meeting. Puppies, in particular, need plenty of rest and will get over-stimulated if they’re played with constantly.
Some dogs like background music, such as the radio playing, when they’re in their crate. There are also recordings available that are specifically geared toward calming dogs.
Diffusing essential oils such as lavender will help alleviate the stress-and make your house smell nice, too. The diffuser can be set up in the same room as the crate.
To keep your dog busy while you slip out the door, you can give him a Kong filled with treats or kibble and sealed with peanut butter, Cheese Wiz, or plain yogurt.
Cats are hunters so put their kibble around the house for them to find or put kibble in a toilet paper tube and tape one end shut so he has to figure out how to get his food. You can also use a cat treat toy.
Put butcher paper in a couple of boxes scattered throughout the house so your cat will have something to occupy his time while you’re gone.
Hire a Dog Walker
If you walk your dog or have some playtime before you leave in the morning, chances are your dog will need a potty break and walk during the middle of the day. We can help exercise your dog and give you peace of mind that his needs are met until you come home.
Planning now for the future will ensure you and your pet will be stress free when you head back to the office.
***We’d love to help walk and exercise your dog. You can view our dog walking service here and then contact us at (540) 353-2485 or firstname.lastname@example.org.***