Over the last several years, millions of workers have adapted to not only working from home, but many have found it to be more lucrative or beneficial to maintain the routine. However, companies need workers to come back into the office and they are paying more to get it done. Many are leaving their homes to work, not necessarily because they have to but because there are opportunities for them outside the home.
While these opportunities may be great for you, they may not be great for a furry family member. Your dogs have grown quite accustomed to you being home throughout the day. While you may leave here and there, think about the last time you were not home for 10-12 hours in a single day and you also did not have your dog with you.
Why Returning To Work Is Hard On Your Pets
Pets love to fall into routines, except with eating, most of them will do that any time of the day or night. Having a set routine is great but if you will need to make adjustments because your work situation is changing, you need to start training them as soon as possible. Waiting until the start of your new schedule may not be the best idea because it may be too drastic for them. Instead, try starting a week or two before you begin your new job.
Things You Can Do To Ease The Transition
Your new routine will be designed to make things easiest on your pets, as well as yourself. This routine will take some time for everyone to get adjusted to. You should not get upset with animals when they have difficulty adjusting to new routines or surroundings. The transition will take time for them and mistakes and messes will happen. Here’s how you may want to begin working with them:
- Morning routine: What time will you have to get up to give yourself enough time in the morning to get ready for and leave to work? Add some more time to that figure because you will want to get your dog going in the morning as well. Not only with food and bathroom breaks, but perhaps some activity as well. A morning walk or playful routine will help dogs burn energy early, making that time you leave for work a perfect opportunity for them to get some rest. That makes leaving every morning far less traumatic for them.
- Using the television: Opinions vary on this option but some feel that by leaving a television on throughout the day it not only provides a noise for the dogs to focus on, but it distracts them from outside noises that may create more anxiety.
- Bones & toys: Leaving their favorite bones or toys around can be a great option to offer a distraction throughout the day. While they may not interact with these items during the day, having the option at least gives them something to do, especially if their only other choice is to chew on your furniture.
- Give them their space: Designate an area for your dogs during the day. Do not leave them confined anywhere. Often, the best options are to give them the living room and close all the bedroom and bathroom doors. This gives them the majority of the home to walk and lounge around in and they can feel more comfortable than when being in a confined space.
- Close the curtains: People like to leave the curtains open to let light into the home. This is another thing that may not benefit all dogs, especially those who have anxiety. Looking outside means noticing all the cars walking by, people dropping things off at your home and so forth. It’s not ideal for an animal to be home alone and have all that activity going on outside. Closing the curtains may help to hide some of that activity and allow them to relax more.
- Blankets: Dogs love to lay around in blankets throughout the day. However, they also love them because they usually carry the scent of their owners and family.
- CBD: One of the newest options that dog owners are trying with their pets, especially those who have anxiety, is CBD dog products. These products come in all shapes and sizes and are not only safe for the animal, but could offer help in calming the nerves and transitioning to being alone throughout the day.
- Practice distance: Before you make the switch, try and implement parts of the new routine at home. If you are planning on walking out the door and leaving for work at 8:30 a.m. then you may want to do that now and come back an hour or two later. Run errands, hit the gym or whatever else you need to do. This will help set a routine that your pet can get into.
Taking care of your dog while also working a full-time job can be tricky. Everyone has to come up with a plan that works for them and their animals. Look at the options available to you and do what you can to train your dog for the transition so that it goes easier on them.