We humans have loved the opportunity to stay at home with our fur families during quarantine and most of our dogs love the extra attention. We can’t always say the same for cats since all that extra time at home can disrupt their nap schedules! But what happens when your dog or your cuddly cat gets used to having you around all the time but then you have to go back to work and the kids eventually go back to school? How will they react?
This sudden change may cause separation anxiety, especially for your pooch and can cause behaviors such as:
Fortunately there are some ways to get ahead of this behavior.
For dogs, try:
While it’s not as common for cats to experience separation anxiety, it can still be an issue. Prepare your cat for your return to work by:
Start with short periods of time, long enough for you to go on a short walk or run a quick errand. If your dog or cat shows sign of panic, shorten the length of time. After several instances of this, you should slowly be able to start lengthening the time you’re away as they will start to trust that you’ll come back. If they bark or meow or start pawing at the door, only return once they’ve quieted down. It can be hard to resist running right back inside and consoling them but doing this will just reinforce bad behavior.
Get up, feed and exercise/play with your fur kids at a regular time so they can count what’s going to happen.
Remember that we are often experienced by our fur kids as the center of their lives. For many of them, the upcoming decreases in time spent and attention given will feel monumental. We need to help them navigate this transition. By preparing them now and planning for keeping them happy when they’re alone, we can return some of the support and happiness they’ve given us throughout what has been for many of us a challenging ordeal.