What Will Happen to Your Pet When You Return to Work?

written by Elyse Berman, CRS
Boca Raton, FL   
Apr 19, 2021

Pets WFH

Many of us have formed a strong bond with our pets this year. While pet owners have always had a strong bond with their pets, working from home this past year has made it even stronger. Those of us who have never been there 24/7, your pets and, likely you, are loving it. Your animals rely on you just as you rely on them. So, it begs the question, what will happen to your pets when you return to work?

Some people may find they can continue to work from home. After all, we have Zoom now. We also have people answering phones from home. Will this continue? Who knows. But if you continue to work from home, all will likely remain the same with your pets. Nothing much will change.

If you do have to return to your office, will your pet be okay during the day?

Will they suffer from separation anxiety? Do some reading or work with an animal behaviorist or your veterinarian to help your pet with anxiety. Some dogs may require meds, alternative meds, a vest or just some toys and a dirty old tee shirt of yours to keep them calm. Your scent will go a long way towards keeping your dog comfortable. Do you have more than one pet so they can keep each other company? Maybe a second pet is the answer.

It goes without saying that your pet needs to be well fed and well exercised before you leave. A good walk before you leave for work and some playtime will go a long way, unless you have a puppy. Some people choose to take their dogs to doggie daycare where they play all day. Many dogs love this option, but if it isn't for everyone. It can be costly but may do wonders if you have an energetic puppy.

There are other things you can do to try to alleviate stress for your animals. Leave a TV or some soothing music playing while you're gone. I always leave HGTV on because I know there will be no screaming or dogs barking. It's basically mellow. But soothing music would work well, too. Make sure they have their space set up. Their beds or blankets, some toys or if you crate them. And that takes us to the next point. Leaving them in a room that can be gated off may be a better option than a crate all day. This way, they have more space and you can set up dedicated areas within the room for napping, pee pads and playing.

It will be hard on you, too. This has been an unprecedented year with more pets than ever being adopted. We've come to rely on our pets for companionship and comfort. How will you feel with your pet at home and you going back at work? It is definitely something to think about.

Elyse Berman, PA, CRS is a Pet-Friendly REALTOR® who has been helping people buy and sell homes for the past 16-plus years. She serves Palm Beach County, Florida.  Check out her blog.