A pets guide to going back to work

As lockdowns ease and many Queenslanders who worked from home return to the workplace, we need to be mindful of pets who may suddenly find themselves home alone.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said some pets may experience separation anxiety if nobody is around during the day.

“One thing that many people have actually enjoyed during these difficult months has been spending more time at home with their pets,” Mr Furner said.

“For some people, it’s been an opportunity to have a pet for the very first time.

“Workplaces and economies around the world have been doing it tough because of COVID-19, and Queensland has been no different.

“As we start to deliver Queensland’s plan to unite and recover, many workplaces are returning to normal. After months of constant company in the house, it can be confusing for animals if their owner’s routine quickly changes.

“Dogs in particular crave human company, so owners who will be spending more time back in the office will need to condition their pet into feeling positive about time alone.

“The simplest approach is to give your dog time out for brief periods. Leave them alone for a few minutes, five minutes, ten, then 20, then 30 and so on, so they’re not left feeling isolated for long periods.

“Other options include hiring somebody to take your dog out for regular exercise during the day, invest in doggy day care, or arrange play dates with your friend’s dogs.”

To help pets with life after COVID-19:

  • Pets are creatures of habit, so establish a routine that covers rest, play, exercise and alone time during the day while you are at work to return them to their normal habits.

  • Encourage pets to play with their toys and rotate the toys regularly to keep them engaged.

  • Make feeding fun with puzzle feeders, chew bones and scatter feeds to increase the time and mental energy spent foraging and eating.

For more information, visit RSPCA at https://bit.ly/3ioHfDO

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