As quarantine comes to an end, you might be looking forward to going back to life as usual. For your pets though, transitioning back to your pre-COVID schedule could be difficult. You can prepare your pets by planning for the more challenging aspects of your return to work.
Adjust Your Pet's Sleeping Schedule
Have you been sleeping and waking up at the same time every day, just as you did before COVID-19? If you're like many pet parents, your sleeping schedule has temporarily changed, and so has that of your pets.
For at least a week leading up to your return to work, resume your normal work week sleeping schedule. You may need to feed your dog their dinner earlier in the afternoon so they will not have to go outside after bedtime.
Changing Your Pet's Feeding Routine
You may also need to start feeding their breakfast earlier to ensure you'd be on time for work. Pets generally handle changes in their meal schedule without issue, but cats and dogs can experience bilious vomiting if their stomach is empty for too long between meals, especially if they have not adjusted to the schedule yet.
Keep an eye out for yellow, foamy puddles of vomit, and consider giving your pet a small snack between meals to help keep their stomach settled.
Teach Your Pet Not To Mind Being Alone
Even if your pet was well adjusted to your work schedule pre-COVID, they likely became comfortable with having you around all day and night. Now that you won't be around as much, you will need to prepare them to spend time alone at home again. If you're working from home, consider having your pet nap in their crate or in a separate room for a few hours each day. You can also have them spend time alone while you're cooking or cleaning up around the house.
You don't need to confine your pet for the entire workday all at once. Start with just 40 minutes, about the length of your typical grocery trip, and gradually increase their time spent alone. For dogs, a Kong filled with an intriguing mixture of food and treats is an alone-time essential. Cats will be happy with an interactive toy like Crazy Circle or FroliCat.
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