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Home Alone



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By Liz Lyons with Photography by Liz Lyons and Cadence Captures

Over the past year many of us worked from home, held zoom happy hours and were generally at home more. Like many pets, my needy nine year old cat, The Dude, appreciated this sudden abundance of quality time. He really hates being alone. As people head back to the office, meet in person and travel, we need to understand how these changes will affect our pets.

“Many families have gotten a furry friend since the COVID-19 pandemic started, so as owners go back to work, it’s important that they set themselves and their ‘pandemic’ pets up for success,” said YoungWilliams Animal Center CEO Janet Testerman. “Creating a safe and comfortable environment at home can help ease the transition. Remember, returning to the office is an adjustment for everyone. People who need help caring for and keeping their pets can check out our resources at young-williams.org.” 

Tips for easing your furry companion into being home alone

Ease your pet into a new routine.
If you anticipate an upcoming change, such as a return to in-person work that will shift your pet’s regular routine, establish new habits in advance.

Avoid emotional departures or greetings with your pet.
Instead of a sad goodbye and excited hello, create a positive association with your exit. Reward your pet for calm behavior with a small, healthy treat as you leave.

Ensure daily exercise continues.
Even if your pet is a couch potato, a daily walk or play session is essential. Consider hiring a pet sitter or dog walker or asking a trusted friend to help.

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