Prepare your pets for your return to work, says vet

PUBLISHED: 11:59 06 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:44 09 June 2020

St Albans dog, Nala, is loving all the cuddles she is getting due to the lockdown. Picture: Susie Wyeth

St Albans dog, Nala, is loving all the cuddles she is getting due to the lockdown. Picture: Susie Wyeth

Archant

They snuggle up on the sofa, lounge next to our laptops and even manipulate extra meals out of us...so how can we get them used to us going back to the office without getting the back-to-work blues?

St Albans cat Jasper snuggling up to Ephron under the COVID-19  lockdown. Picture: Sharon ChapmanSt Albans cat Jasper snuggling up to Ephron under the COVID-19 lockdown. Picture: Sharon Chapman

We spoke to a St Albans vet about preparing our pets for life after lockdown.

It is well known that cats and dogs like company but did you know there is a downside to that? Too much time in our presence can give them separation anxiety and cause them to feel sad when they are alone.

Sharon Chapman of Marshalswick said: “Jasper, our cat, is usually quite stressed out but he is very content with us being home at the moment and has grown closer to my son.

“I am not sure how he will find it when we return to a more usual way of life.

Delilah loves her owners being at home more. Picture: SuppliedDelilah loves her owners being at home more. Picture: Supplied

“I might get some Feliway - it’s a hormone that you plug-in and it definitely calms him down.”

St Albans mum Susie Wyeth, who usually commutes into London, said her dog loves her being at home all the time: “Nala is 13 and is enjoying the company of me and the children every day. She likes classical music so I might put a bit of Bach on for her when I return to work.”

Vet Rebecca Hansler of Village Vets said there are a number of things pet owners can do to reduce the anxiety of their animals which may be caused by spending more time with the people who live in their house.

Rebecca said: “If possible get them used to you not being around quite as much before you go back to work.

“You could provide a den or similar for them to freely use that they feel comfortable in.

“Also some people keep a high-value toy to give them only when they go out (such as one stuffed with treats) to keep them occupied.

“Be sure to remove this again when you get home.”

We asked the vet about natural plug-in pheromone products.

She said they can help pets to feel more settled, adding: “Plug these in a week or so before their desired effects are needed.”

Other ideas such as walking your dog before you leave can also be effective.

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