Back to the office

What about your furry friend ?

Summer vacation is coming to an end and for some of us that means making our way back to the office in person. After more than a year at home with completely restructured routines, the lifting of certain health restrictions brings a mixture of relief and concern.

For some, the routines of the past few months have included a new pet. Dogs who were born just before lockdown have been lucky to enjoy a constant presence in the household, but, even though this may seem like a good thing, it presents its share of challenges. As a matter of fact, it may be quite difficult for dogs who have never experienced anything different to transition to a busy routine that includes trips to the office and less time with the family.

It is vital to come up with a plan for the coming weeks to prepare your pet before the family goes back to school and the office, and to implement changes in the routine to make sure that they adapt gradually to a new pace and time alone.

Smooth transitioning

  • Gradually transition meals, walks, and play time to the time when these will take place in the new routine. For example, if you went on a walk at lunch and you won’t be able to go at that time anymore, delay the time of the walk by 30 minutes to an hour every 2 to 3 days so you will reach the new time within a few weeks.
  • Implement the morning routine to allow your pet to slowly get used to the usual morning hustle and bustle. For example, start the day at the same time as when you will have to go to the office and go through the steps of the morning routine as if you were going to work and the kids to school.
  • Get your animal used to being alone by having them stay alone for longer periods of time. Start by confining them in a room or their crate to get them used to being separated from you. This way, you will be able to monitor how they behave over time. Then, transition to short moments away from home to run errands, making sure that everybody leaves the house. In time, your dog will be used to being alone for a few consecutive hours before the new routine becomes effective.
  • Make sure that all of your moments away are related to a positive event. Using a treat-filled Kong or your pet’s favourite interactive toy will help make your departure and any changes in the routine more pleasant, which will help to reduce anxiety.
  • To support your pet’s adjustment, you can film your companion when they are alone at home. You will discover your pet’s secret life, but mostly see if they are OK when you are away.

What are signs that my pet isn’t adjusting well to the new routine?

It is possible that your dog won’t adapt well to the changes and will require a little extra help. If your dog shows signs of stress to the changes in the routine, or if their normal behaviour changes (their sleep, their food intake, their attention seeking, their desire to play and go for a walk), it may be a sign of adaptation difficulties and they may need extra help. If your pet struggles with adapting to being alone at home it could be helpful to have a friend visit them when you are out, or to contact a dog day care or dog walker. If you notice unwanted behaviour your dog may have separation anxiety, in which case we invite you to read the following article.

If your efforts are not enough to help your dog, and you don’t feel that you are making any progress, or worse, that the situation is deteriorating, it is important to discuss the situation with your Passionimo veterinary team so they can help you with the next steps.

Don’t forget, now is the time to start making changes so you are as ready as you can be when the time comes! Enjoy the training process!

Have more questions?

Please do not hesitate to contact the Passionimo veterinary clinic near you.