With COVID-19 vaccinations picking up, that means in-person work will likely resume very soon. That being said, many people adopted pets at the beginning of the quarantine so they'd have some company, and those animals got used to having almost constant attention throughout the year. Pets, just like people, thrive on a routine, and when that routine is interrupted, that's a source of anxiety for us both.
"The overall percentage of US households owning pets notched up to 56% in 2020, with 44% of households owning dogs, 25% owning cats, and 12% owning other pets (including fish, birds, small mammals, and reptiles/amphibians)," according to Packaged Facts. "Among current pet-owning households, 35% adopted pets in the 12-month period ending February 2021." That means all those pets have no idea what "normal" life actually looks like, because this isn't it. Here are a few tips to help your pets easily adjust to this inevitable change back to normalcy.
Start leaving your pets alone for a few hours at a time. By easing them into being by themselves at home for two to three hours, you'll help them build up to spending nearly eight hours or more by themselves when you return to work. Don't fully change your routine right away, though. The idea of gently building up to it is key, or else you'll stress your pet. If they really don't cope well with the change, consider a pet sitter. Readjustment times will vary depending on whether your pet is ultra-clingy or not. The best way to make sure they're happy by themselves until you get home is to leave out toys, treats, and other distractions. Don't worry, though they love you, they'll be okay if you take the proper steps to ensure their happiness.