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Working from Home with Your Pet? Here’s How to Calm Them Down

By April 22, 2020 No Comments

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If you’ve just started working from home, your new schedule can be a big change for your pet. Most pets that are used to being left at home alone find a routine of sleeping and lounging around until you return home from work. If you’ve ever popped in unexpectedly on them during the workday, you may have even witnessed them in a general lethargic state where they barely get up to greet you. Pets, like people, find comfort in a daily routine and they can become distressed or excitable when that routine changes. Here are a few tips to keep them calm while you get your work accomplished.

Exercise Your Pet

Giving your pet extra exercise can work wonders. General guidelines about pets often recommend at least 30 to 90 minutes of exercise per day. This may vary based on the breed and age of your pet. While walking your dog may be the first thing that comes to mind, cats can also benefit from playtime. Starting your workday off with a long walk, a round of fetch, or a game of cat and mouse as part of a daily routine can help wear out the extra energy your pet needs to burn daily. 

Play Calming Music

One of the benefits of working from home is that you have the option to play any kind of music you want while you work. A study was conducted in 2012 to evaluate the impact of different types of music and how they affect activity levels, vocalization, and body shaking in dogs. The research found that classical music reduced vocalization and led to more time sleeping, but heavy metal music appeared to increase body shaking. Choose your music wisely when entertaining your pets! 

Aromatherapy

There are some companies that make essential oils specifically designed to promote calm feelings in pets. Essential oils, like lavender and chamomile, not only work to help humans relax, but they can also be natural ways to calm your pet through their excellent sense of smell. These oils are usually applied in a similar way to flea drops and administered in the shoulder blade area near their neck so they can’t lick it off. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and use.

CBD Oil for Pets

CBD for pets works very much as it does for humans. It can be used to reduce stress, promote calm moods, reduce pain, and enhance mobility for both young and aging dogs. Studies have shown CBD oil to be a safe and effective method for achieving your pets’ health goals. CBD oil can be used to calm your pet while at home, traveling in a car, during stressful events like the 4th of July, and other applications.

Close Contact

Some pets crave physical contact to feel safe and less anxious. Just having your pet sit on your lap or placing a hand on them can lead to a calmer buddy. If your working conditions allow for it, let them snuggle up and get comfy with you while you work or sit as close to them as possible.

Give Them Extra Outside Time

Not every pet enjoys spending time alone outside, but some love it. If you have a fenced-in yard, enclosed porch, or a dog run, don’t be afraid to let them enjoy the outdoors for periods throughout the day. But if they continuously bark or ask to come inside, your pet may not enjoy the outside very much.

Calming Medications

If all else fails and your pet has serious stress issues, you can talk to your vet about prescription medications to calm them down. Anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications in combination with behavior modification training can work well if your pet has separation anxiety and extreme nervousness that leads to destructive behaviors. Your vet may also recommend additional over-the-counter supplements that will help improve your pet’s brain function and behavior.

Remember, your pet will take some adjustment time to get used to a new routine. Training your pet will take effort, but you may also notice they are picking up on new queues from you. For example, if you close your laptop every day before you take them for a walk, they may become conditioned to recognize and anticipate this sound in the future. Following the same routine will help give them a new, stable set of expectations. 

Author Bio: Aaron Smith is a writer and copy strategist for several nonprofits and companies. He enjoys covering topics important to pet owners, and is a dedicated dog dad to his three pups: Buddy, Roxy, and Kaya.

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