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Weekdays 10am-12:30pm ITV

How to prepare your pets to be alone after lockdown

We're a nation of pet lovers with nearly half of UK households owning a fluffy companion. After spending 2 months at home with our animals, we will all soon be preparing to go back to work.

But, how can we stop them feeling lonely? Dr Scott is here with all the tips and tricks of how we can get our beloved pets ready for the new ‘normal’.

Animals that have a flexible routine or are used to people being at home might not have noticed much change during lockdown, but others that are used to their owners leaving for the day may have been confused.

Dr Scott says: “Overwhelmingly, pets will have thought that us being at home is fantastic. They are receiving loads of attention, more walks now we can have unlimited exercise. But there will definitely be draw-backs to us all spending so much time with our pets.”

HOW CAN WE PREVENT OUR PETS FEELING LONELY AND ANXIOUS?

Dr Scott has a few tips to prevent our beloved pets from feeling lonely and anxious when we all go back to work:

  • SIT IN A DIFFERENT ROOM TO YOUR PET

DR SCOTT SAYS: “Start spending more time in different rooms without your pet. This will enable them to get comfortable with occupying themselves.”

  • WORK-FROM-HOME IN A DIFFERENT ROOM

DR SCOTT SAYS: “My dog sits by my wife’s feet now she is working from home, but if you are due to go back to work, try and get them comfortable with you working in another part of the house so they can get used to being away from your side for a period of time.”

  • LEAVE THE HOUSE MORE FREQUENTLY WITHOUT YOUR DOG

DR SCOTT SAYS: “Start to leave your house more often without your dog. Dog owners should start this process as soon as possible, so they can give more time and attention to the dog if they’re anxious in the beginning. That way, when you return to work, they will be comfortable with you leaving. Our dogs have given us a lot of much-needed love in lockdown, so it’s only right that we spend time making sure they are comfortable.”

  • IGNORE YOUR PET WHEN YOU LEAVE/RETURN HOME

DR SCOTT SAYS: “By not making a big fuss of your pet when you leave/enter a room, they feel like a normal member of the family which is calming for them.”

  • FILM YOUR PET HOME ALONE

DR SCOTT SAYS: “If you are worried about how your pet is acting at home without you, use some of the great technological skills you have learned at home in lockdown and set-up a camera in your home to see how your pet is behaving when you leave. That way, you know if there is a need to be concerned if they are behaving differently.”

  • USE MENTALLY STIMULATING TOYS

DR SCOTT SAYS: “It is important to see some of your pets normal behaviours before you go back to work. Use an interactive toy to encourage your pet to feel safe in their home (environmental enrichment).”

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Weekdays 10am-12:30pm ITV