Animals have emotions, some of which may be comparable to humans.
September brings a change of pace to which our four-legged friends are sensitive. As they have become accustomed to your presence during the holidays, it is often difficult for your pets to suddenly find themselves alone all day long. Your return to work can be experienced as a real trauma for them. The end-of-summer is often synonymous with a bout of blues, nostalgia and even anxiety for our furry friends. To avoid separation anxiety, it is important to prepare them for being alone during the day and multiply your play sessions on the weekends.
How do we know when our dogs and cats have the blues?
In dogs, the blues can take on different forms: your dog can refuse to eat or simply sulk. He is less energetic, licks himself excessively, behaves badly or barks and howls while you are away. Cats may meow more frequently, become bulimic, irritable and aggressive, or suddenly start to urinate outside the litter box to let you know that they are unhappy.
Prepare your pet for the new autumn rituals
Animals are very attached to rituals, which reassure them. A few days before you go back to work, progressively get your pet used to being alone again. When you leave, ignore them for a few moments. This also applies to when you return home in the evening.
Begin changing the times you take your dog out, helping them to adapt to the new schedule. For example, walk your dog a little earlier in the morning and swap daytime outings for morning and evening ones. You can also start to take long walks on the weekends.
Get your cat used to being alone by going away regularly in the days leading up to your return to the office. Begin with an hour and gradually increase the time.
Do the same with your pet’s meals. Progressively establish a new routine, with new meal times. Also, slowly reduce the time you interact with your pets during the day, without ignoring them. Spend time with your pet when you get home from work, and increase the number of play sessions and brushing sessions in the evening. All of these small changes will help your pet get used to you going back to the office with much less stress and anxiety.
Don’t punish him
If you find that your pet has caused damage while you’re away, it’s best not to punish him. Your dog or cat may view your return home from work as a stressful moment and will not understand why he is being punished. Punishment is not only useless, but it could also heighten your pet’s level of anxiety and make the situation worse.
If, despite all your efforts, the blues persist for more than 2 weeks after returning to the office, consider asking your veterinarian for advice. During the summer, your pet may be exposed to fleas, ticks or other viruses. So, September is the ideal time to take stock of your four-legged friend’s physical and mental health!