If you’ve been ditching the office to work from home for the past several weeks, months, or even years and you have a pet, chances are good that your pet has gotten used to having you around all day. Whether you adopted your pet after switching to remote work to make it easier to cope with zoom virtual background requirements or whether you’ve been with your pet for a long time, prolonged periods at home can make your pet grow overly attached and develop a difficulty being away from you. This is especially true if you own a dog. Fortunately, there are several known strategies that can help you break your pet’s separation anxiety.
Replace Your Presence With Background Noise
One clever way to calm your pet when you need to leave the house is by leaving some sort of background noise on. This move gives your pet the sense of having a companion around and can help ease anxiety. You could:
- Play some background music
- Put the radio on
- Play informative videos on how to use virtual background in teams through your computer’s audio system
- Start streaming a long podcast
- Leave the television on
- Record your voice and play it back
Reward Your Pooch When You Return Home
Unfortunately, dogs in particular may be especially prone to separation anxiety. This means that rewarding your dog for good behavior after coming back home is especially important. Make sure you:
- Spend a long period of time playing with your dog
- Feed your dog his or her favorite food for dinner
- Give your dog a few extra treats
- Praise your pup and maintain a happy and positive tone of voice
- Spend time petting or snuggling with your dog
No matter what type of pet you have, there are at least five ways you can stop him or her from experiencing separation anxiety. Try to:
- Start getting your pet used to your absence by scheduling quiet time and downtime into each day;
- Take your pet to the veterinarian if you notice persistent signs of anxiety, such as loud vocalization, attempts to escape, sudden aggression, indoor accidents, and excessive barking, and ask about a calming supplement or medication if necessary;
- Leave your pet with plenty of chew toys and other favorite squeaky toys, as well as an article of clothing with your scent on it, to distract and calm your pet while you’re gone;
- Give your pet some sort of a treat before you leave the house and a special reward when you return home;
- Leave some background noise and some visuals, such as a zoom background with logo, on when you go away to provide ambient noise and soothe your pet.
If your pet has gotten used to you working from home and it’s time to return to the office, you may need to take several steps to prevent your pet from experiencing or falling deeper into separation anxiety. Although separation anxiety is relatively common, it can be harmful to your pet’s mental and emotional health. Thankfully, tips such as rewarding your pet when you get home and soothing him or her with background noise can help you break the anxiety as quickly as possible.