It certainly tugs at our heartstrings to think about our pets missing us (and us missing them) when we return to work. Pets are creatures of habit. If you’re going back to work soon, now is the time to start adapting your lockdown routine to a new schedule so your pets can change their habits too. This will help make the transition as successful as possible for you both.
Pets have certainly benefitted from having their favorite humans around 24/7 enjoying additional quality time, fun and games. But they also thrive on a routine and can even enjoy the independence that comes with some alone time. The key is to start making changes slowly.
Changes to Your Routine
• Set your alarm for the time you’d normally start getting ready to leave for work. Shower, dress and feed your pet before starting your workday at home.
• The next step would be to get ready and actually walk out the door. Initially, leave for just ten minutes. Extend the outings a few minutes each day.
• Consider placing your pets in another room of the home on their own for a while, even when you’re home. Do it at random times. This will stop them distracting on those Zoom calls and simultaneously introduce them to a subtle change without you.
• If you previously walked your dog in the mornings before going to work, start doing that again. The benefit of early morning exercise is that your pooch will be tired and happy to sleep. This is a great routine for when you are once again really heading out in the morning.
Ways to Change Up Your Pet’s Routine
• Puzzle toys and games that can be filled with treats are great distractors. Introduce them as part of your at-home routine. This will be something that pets will enjoy when they are home alone.
• If you have strayed from your pet’s mealtime routine, get it back on track to what it was before the lock down.
• In a single pet household, consider putting down the food bowl as you get ready to leave. A meal can be a nice distraction. But don’t try this if you have several pets and need to monitor mealtimes so that sneaky food stealers don’t take advantage.
• If you have previously crated your dog, start introducing short crate times at irregular intervals.
• Cats love catnip toys. Introduce games at random times. And again, a catnip toy is a great go-to toy to encourage play even when you are on your way out of the home.
• If you’ve used a dog walker in the past, get that routine going again while you are still at home.
• Similarly, if your pet previously went to doggie day care, start introducing this routine a day at a time.
• We all know about the COVID 15 lbs. Yes, we may have overindulged our pets with treats too. Set a new treat routine that make treats really something to look forward to and work it around your future work routine. Treats should never be equated with love. So no more ad hoc treating; It’s time to get back to counting calories.
You can use puzzles games as food bowls for a portion of your pet’s meal. Stock up on treats such as soft WellBites and yummy WellBars . Kitties love Kittles available in five flavors. Don’t forget to take lots of photos and share with us by tagging #wellnesspetfood and @wellnesspetfood for a chance to be featured on our website or social pages!