How To Make Your Return To Your Pet’s Office Easier | Wellington Hours
Going back to the office has never looked so good for many Canberrans, but leaving behind the pets that got them through the lockdown won’t go down as well.
Pets have been a source of joy for many throughout ACT’s three-month lockdown, but this quality time will see an increase in separation anxiety when pet owners return to work.
RSPCA ACT chief executive Michelle Robertson said lower numbers of stray animals were seen during times of lockdown.
“There have been a lot of really great benefits for animals, but also for humans,” she said.
“I think there is a case to say if it’s good for animal welfare, and it’s good for us, maybe there are some positive COVID liners, things that we have to keep.
“There are workplaces that accept pets. Isn’t now the time to start considering developing this so that it becomes more of the norm, where people can take animals to work? “
For those who haven’t quite convinced their bosses to bring their animal companions to work, Ms Robertson said it’s important to plan for the transition to the office.
While separation anxiety was commonly associated with dogs, it also affected other pets, including birds and cats.
People can prepare their pets for change by training to get away from them during the day, giving them a treat when you go away, and not doing much when you get home. she declared.
Keeping the pets engaged during the day with interesting activities was also important, Ms. Robertson said.
“There are some great resources out there on how you can make interesting toys and items for your pets. It doesn’t have to cost that much money.
“But these are things that they can scratch, smell, sniff, climb, all of those things are really good for them.”
For some, pet day care might be an option, she said.
Demand for pet services is increasing
Pups4Fun owner Rhiannon Beach said businesses have seen increased demand for care and training services to deal with separation anxiety since the lockdown ended, with some dogs still having their owners at home .
“We’ve had some really massive growth that we’re trying to keep up with because there’s a lot of what they call ‘COVID puppies’ coming in,” she said.
“So you have a lot of puppies that couldn’t get out, it’s not just that they didn’t close the puppy classes. [but] that they missed out on a whole bunch of… socializing and things that they normally would have done if it weren’t for a period of lockdown.
“But it’s great to see how the owners are proactive and [on] and wanting to do the best for their dogs. “
Facilitating Pets in a Post-COVID Lifestyle
“It can be a bit of an adjustment for the owner and the dog, as they haven’t been sort of separated during this time,” Ms. Beach said.
His pro tip: make it a phased return if you can.
“I think the best thing is probably to try and make it sort of a gradual comeback, especially if they’ve been home for a long time,” Ms. Beach said.
“And practice separation at home, so take the dog out while you’re at home and just practice that little bit of separation in a gentle way.
“Then you can use (…) similar services, like what we have with daycare, which gives them a way not only to be in a safe environment, but also to use their brain and physical energy. “she said.
Separation anxiety in dogs can present in a number of ways, including excessive barking, gasping, salivation, destruction, attempted escape and any other sign of panic, she said.
“Just be patient and don’t give up until you’ve really tried,” Ms. Robertson said.
“Please work with your animals and most challenges have a solution.”
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