Since the start of the pandemic, many people have had to change gears and work from home. Because of this, there has been an increase in free time, which has been a win-win situation for both us and our pets. After all, what better way is there to spend your free time than by walking or playing with your pet?
It seems like others agree. One shelter in California, The Riverside County Animal Shelter, was proud to announce on April 8 that all their pets had been fostered or adopted, leaving rows of empty cages. (You can see their adorable video here.) This is great news for shelters which usually have far too many pets waiting for loving homes.
Riverside County isn’t the only shelter with increasing number of adoption rates; it’s happening all over the country. According to Kitty Block, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, the rate of fostering animals has gone up by 90%.
As well as providing companionship for their owners, pets also help to reduce stress and tension, therefore making your working at home experience more enjoyable. This experience is also beneficial for the pets themselves as they get to interact more with their owners and feel loved.
Now that businesses in some parts of the country have opened their doors back up, workers are going back to their offices. This transition will pose new changes that people will have to adjust to again. The office won’t be as comfortable as sitting on the couch with your furry friend. The same goes for your pet: they’ll likely be home alone all day after getting used to having you there. This may cause them unnecessary stress, anxiety, or just plain loneliness.
To help your pet before returning to the office, you can try to get them into a routine. Ideally, you want them to get used to the fact that you will be gone during most of the day. If you’re expecting to have to return to the office soon, treat your pet as if you are at work even while home. Create a feeding and walking schedule that simulates that if you can. The Northeast Animal Hospital gives some good tips on how to seamlessly return to work without your pet missing you all day.
When your office opens back up and you stop working from home, be sure to think about your new furry friend and how they will deal with you leaving. It can be a stressful experience, especially for a newly adopted pet that doesn’t understand why you’re leaving them alone. Be sure to explore alternatives to leaving them completely alone all day, such as asking a friend or a family member to take care of them while you’re away. This way, your pet will stay happy and healthy—but still be really excited to see you when you’re back!