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It’s time to get your pets ready to be home alone again

Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 7:41 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Over the past year, our pets have grown accustomed to having us around the house, but as more people get vaccinated, businesses are beginning to bring back employees.

For dogs especially, it’ll be a ruff transition when we go back to work.

“Make your new routine before you head back to work similar to your routine after you head back to work,” said Christine Robinson, owner and trainer at Critterhill Kennel and president of board of directors at Central Aroostook Humane Society. “Start leaving your dog at home for short periods of time with something to do, and then just slowly increase your time until your dog’s comfortable.”

Robinson, says as you start leaving the house more often, keep an eye on your dog’s, or any pet’s, behavior. Any change, whether its aggression or simply a refusal to use the litter box, may be a sign of anxiety—and anxiety can lead to destruction around the house.

There are a few other things you can do to give your dog a helping paw.

“If you haven’t already through COVID, start socializing your dog...a lot of these dogs weren’t socialized as puppies that have grown for a year into dogs...You can try daycare, you can try dog parks. Make sure your situation is controlled and that your dogs are safe.”

And when they are home alone, you can give them toys and puzzles, designed to keep them entertained, or hire a dog walker to make sure they get their exercise.

“The best you can do for them in my opinion is to increase their exercise because a tired dog is a content dog,” said Robinson. “Look into different types of daycare or playgroups.”

In short, your dog isn’t going to just roll over.

“Don’t just walk out the door and leave your dog and expect everything to be okay after you’ve been home with it for a year.”

So prepare them now to get back to normal with a new leash on life.

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