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Transitioning back to the office could be difficult for pets

Getting back to normal after the pandemic could make life tough for pets when they are left alone all day.

PHOENIX — With COVID-19 infections slowing, some people are going back to offices rather than working from home.

And it could be a big transition for pets who have been great companions during the pandemic.

Nationally, the adoption rate of pets rose this past year as people looked for companionship during their isolation.

“We’ve adopted out about 86% of the normal animals,” said Kelsey Dickerson with the Arizona Humane Society.

As more people move back to their offices, it could be traumatic to pets who are used to being around their owners all day.

“Any change that seems sudden to the dog or cat can be stressful. So, it can have an impact on their behavior,” said Jenny Dagnino, the Behavior and Training Manager at Arizona Humane Society.

They can be destructive to property or to themselves like excessive grooming.

Dagnino says there are a few things you can do to help prepare your pet for that work transition.

Leave the pet home alone

“Go get coffee. Add in some time where you’re gone. Gradually increase the time that you’re away. So that your pet gets acclimated,” said Dagnino.

Use behavioral enrichment toys

Dagnino says instead of leaving a bowl of food, leave the food in behavior enrichment toys to occupy their time so they don’t get bored and use their foraging skills.

“This is more challenging for your dog to eat out of because they’re having to find their kibble,” said Dagnino.

The Arizona Humane Society does offer training, tips and resources on their website at https://www.azhumane.org/

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