Our pets were surprised when several months ago when we stopped going to work and stayed at home for the quarantine. Funny memes about cats wishing we would leave for work and dogs excited that we are finally around to dote over them were all over social media.
During the quarantine we introduced our dogs on zoom and watched as cats paraded across keyboards. There were some interesting pets, even a turtle that came across my screen. Our colleagues’ pets became part of our work life. Dogs got long walks in the neighborhood. Who knew the neighbors down the street had a gigantic Great Dane!
We adjusted our routines for quarantine. Now we need to readjust for the hybrid options of going back into the office. The re-adjustment is not just our routine but the routine of our pets. A routine that’s in flux is stressful for everyone involved. We need to take into consideration the stress of our pets in our absence. You’ve been with pets for months and now you need reduce stress for them while you are away. By paying attention to the needs of our pets, creating a routine for them will decrease their stress.
Stress in animals shows up in a variety of ways:
- Excessive barking
- Needless whining
- Destruction-biting woodwork, destroying couches, getting into trash bins
Here are some suggestions:
- Take progressively longer periods out of the house, start with an hour and extend that over time
- Set regular walk times
- Alter mealtimes if needed and be sure that mealtimes are at a specific time each day
- Give them a treat before you leave
- Leave them with toys and activities-lick pads, snuffle matts , puzzle toys
- Radio and even television can keep them occupied
- Love them up when you come back home
Taking them to work might not be an option but if it is, you’ll want to read this blog on taking your dog to work. Our pets were an added joy and companionship while in lock down. Be sure to treat them kindly while you transition back to work life.
We have had to make adjustments at Wave Productivity. It’s been an exciting change as we welcome Caraboo, an Italian Greyhound. After years of being a faithful companion to someone, her owner passed away. Cara needed to be re-homed. She now sits on my lap and beside my desk, keeping me company.
Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer with Wave Productivity. She works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. She coaches by phone nationally and in person in Phoenix, Providence and Boston. If you’re having some dog days at work call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected] for a consultation.