KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — If you are a pet owner who has been working from home the last couple of months, it may be time to start preparing your "fluffy coworkers" for your transition back to the office after quarantine.
Being at home constantly means pets are getting used to being around their owners all the time, which will be a rude awakening as we make the transition back to the office.
Whether you just adopted during quarantine or you've had your pet for years, the stay-at-home order has likely given you more TLC time with your furry friends.
Your dogs will surely miss the 24/7 belly rubs, daily walks and sitting at your feet as you're working. Cats probably couldn't care less or are jumping for joy that your around the clock hangouts may soon fade away as you head back to the office.
But just as we will have a schedule change in the coming months, so will our pets, according to Kim Steffes, the owner of Kim's K9 Training in Kentwood, Michigan.
"Your dog is going to freak out and the separation anxiety cases I'm confident are going to sky rocket," Steffes said.
Steffes is urging owners to help them prepare much like parents ease into a back to school schedule.
"Just before school starts, parents start a couple weeks beforehand putting the kids to bed a little bit earlier," Steffes said. "They kind of get back into that routine so it's not a shock when school actually starts and they have to get up early and go to bed early. That's what people should be doing for their dogs."
Steffes explained the key is to start creating scenarios of their normal lives.
"If you are typically working eight hours a day and your dog is crated or confined for eight hours a day, please don't wait until May 15 to start doing that again," Steffes explained.
Avoid bogging your pets down with too much love and attention.
"That is a handicap for your dog," Steffes admitted. "People say 'oh that's adorable.' It's not. That is a handicap."
But rather, help them grow confidence in their ability to be alone.
"To let you leave and come out of the room and be okay with it," Steffes nodded. "What we want is for the dog to be comfortable in the crate even when you're home. Especially when you're home."
Remember that just like for us, change can be difficult and our pets look to us for support.
"Scoping them into what is going to be normal for them soon I hope," Steffes said.
Click here for the original story from WZZM.