Is your pet now home alone?

Does your cat have trouble with solitude? Here are some tips to help them adapt.

Prepare your pet for the change of routine

Whether it’s vacation, recovery or extended period of remote-working, our routine and the one of our pets can be disturbed several times during the year!

But such an unusual time comes to an end, and family members head back to school and to work. You all got ready for this transition. You know that your schedule and routine are about to change. The rhythm of the household won’t be the same. Now, in the morning, you all leave and don’t get back home until much later. On the other hand, your dogs and cats may not have seen this coming.

When things go back to “normal”, how will your pet react in your absence? Will it affect them at all? What will they do during the day?

Many pets will transition very well when vacation ends. As for others, both dogs and cats might start showing signs of stress as soon as you are out of the house.

For example, your dog may manifest concern by a constant, sort-of coming and going… and by getting vocal about the situation (strong enough that your neighbours could very well hear it). A dog might start destroying furniture or other objects…and even creating other types of messes (we’re sure you can imagine). He can be bored or lack mental stimulation.

Cats may exhibit less dramatic, more subtle, behaviour, but they will react. For instance, a cat will sleep more often and won’t be as active or interactive. Your cat may even lose their appetite, to the point where they stop eating altogether. He can meow when alone and even urinate and defecate out of the litter box.

Leave your dog or your cat alone at home, even for a short period of time and film him before you leave him alone for a full day will allow you to know how your pet behaves when you are not there. If there are signs of stress, it is important to act quickly to limit the anxiety caused by you leaving the house in the future. The following tips could come out handy!

Do the changes affect you? Change can be tough for anyone—humans and animals alike.

How can you make it easier for your pet to return to a routine?

When you know change, such as back-to-school, is coming, you can ease your dog or cat into more and more alone time over a day or so. Make multiple short trips to restore routine and help your pet adapt to what will, very soon, become the new norm. That being said, even if the change occurs overnight, with no preparation, you can still help your pet adapt and find their happy place.

When you leave the house in the morning and you know that your pet will be alone, provide your cat or dog with interactive toys. For example, balls with treats or a bit of food tucked inside that they have to work to get at. The idea is to make it just as much fun for your pet to be alone as it is to have you around.

It is important to make sure that your dog will keep getting enough exercise. It is the perfect time to go for a long morning walk or to throw the ball in the backyard, depending on your dog’s favourite activity. It’s as important to plan some time with your pet when you get back home; to play together to maintain your bond. And this is true for both dogs and cats.

There’s also another solution to make the transition a little easier: have your pet stay at a daycare during the day, especially a dog. They’ll be able to interact and play with others. He will be mentally stimulated and physically tired, which will typically lower the stress level. Often a day or two of activity in a daycare every week will be beneficial to transition gradually to the routine.

Separation anxiety

If, despite your best efforts, you see that your pet is suffering from extreme anxiety, your veterinarian can recommend some therapeutic approach that meets your needs and those of your pet. It could be a temporary medication prescribed to help your pet transition smoothly to a new rhythm.

Once your pet’s stress level has fallen and they feel reassured, especially with their toys around them, they’ll be able to get along on their own in the house in solitude. No mess. No incidents. No complaints from the neighbours. All this while still being as happy to welcome you as ever before!

Have more questions?

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