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Returning to the office means separation anxiety for your pet: Here’s how to help them cope

You’ve been home all day, and now you’re suddenly gone. Dogs and cats don’t like that.

Returning to the office means separation anxiety for your pet: Here’s how to help them cope
[Photo: Zen Chung/Pexels]
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Your pet doesn’t know what “WFH” means.

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Wow, Fido’s home? When Fluffy’s happy?

They could care less about the acronym, but they are very aware of when you’re returning to your office—and that displeases them.

After more than a year of constant companionship—to say nothing of an infinite number of walks, belly rubs, and cuddling—our furry friends are getting the shock of their lives. For those that have joined households during the pandemic, aka pandemic pets, and only know a situation where their owners are around 24/7, it can be even more acute.

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It’s hitting them full force and experts are warning pet owners about how to recognize their mental distress, advising them about how to make the transition back to commuting easier for them.

Sixty-seven percent of U.S. households own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey.

Both cats and dogs may show increased vocalization, exhibit destructive behavior, and have pee and poop accidents in the house when they’re suffering from separation anxiety, plus cats might act sick, groom excessively, and withdraw physically, according to Embrace Pet Insurance.

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The company’s team of experts suggests tips to help them cope, including:

  • Enrichment: New toys, for example, will make sure they’re busy and not thinking about what worries them or destroying your home. Also, up the exercising, which not only makes them feel positive, but also tires them out.
  • Serene sounds: Try leaving a TV or radio on for a soothing environment. Music can help, too.
  • No big whoop: Exit and enter your home without a fuss. Ignore them for 15 minutes before you head out the door and when you return.
  • Calming products: This can range from body or head wraps to medication from a vet.
  • Outsourcing: Enroll your pet in an animal daycare or hire a sitter.