Working from home - pet care

Going back to work?

After three months of having your attention, your pets might find your absence a bit of a shock. A little bit of planning is needed to help your pets cope with the change.

Pimp up their safe space

For cats and dogs, use a pheromone plug in or spray in the area where they like to settle in the mornings (at the time you will be heading off to work). Plug ins need to be on all the time and at least a week before any expected stress. 

Chewing is very calming for dogs, so get a supply of chews that they like or a KONG and offer it to them as they settle. The idea is that they are already chewing when you walk out the door. 

Working from home, for now

Get your dog used to not having attention and constant access - work in another room or use a stairgate. They need to gradually get used to you not being there.

Re-establish your routine

Go back to your normal routine hours and habits, before you have to. Wake up, dress in work clothes, kids in school clothes, and even go out the front door even though it will be just for a quick walk for now. 

When you come back in, don’t make a big fuss about it and only give attention to your dog once you are settled.

Back to a school?

If you have children, your dog needs to get used to not having them around as well.

For dogs who already had issues with being left alone

Routine is extra-important for these dogs, so do your morning routine and then, depending on the level of anxiety your dog has, either separate yourself from your dog (using a stairgate or door) or leave the house completely for a short time. 

If your dog can't even cope behind a stairgate, then sit with them in the same room but TOTALLY IGNORE them whilst working. Practice at other times as well, little and often will help them. 

For extreme issues, please do consult with a qualified behaviourist who uses kind and modern techniques - such as one registered with APBC

For cats

Cats get used to new routines very quickly, and will actually enjoy having more time with the house to themselves! If your cat is sensitive though, re-establish your routine and restrict their access to you as mentioned above, and use a Feliway plug-in for some relaxing cat pheromones.