How to Teach Your Pet to Stay Alone Post-Lockdown, According to Experts

Returning to the workplace soon? Here's how to help your lockdown bestie aka your pet to make sense of why you won't be at home as much and avoid separation anxiety.

While we continue to battle the Coronavirus pandemic and adjust to the new normal, the lockdown is gradually relaxing across the country. Life to some extent is returning to a glimpse of what it used to be.

Devanshi Shah, founder of PetKonnect agrees. She says, "Many people have started to go back to work, with offices running at 30% capacity if not more. Yes, it’s true that while the lockdown has been very difficult on most of us, it has by in large been a treat for our best friends. They have gotten used to us being at home with them all the time, and now with many of us going back to our pre-lockdown life, this situation could lead to some serious separation anxiety."

So, here are Devanshi's tips on how to train your pet to the un-lockdown:

Independence Training: Getting your pet used to being alone again is one of the most important things any pet parent can do. What you should do is at least two-three weeks before you return to work, begin independence training. Start by putting your pet alone in another room from yourself for an hour a day. At first, they may act out in revolt to this action, but be patient and allow them to simmer down as this is really for their own good! Reward them after this alone time is over by giving them their favourite treat, so they know they’ve done well and were not being punished. Gradually increase this time from one hour to two-three hours, to four to six hours according to how many hours you spend outside the house. The important thing here is to start this training a little before you need to get back to work.

Family Members Support: All pets clearly have a favourite family member in the house. It may be the person they sleep with or spend the most time in a day. If you are this person and are lucky enough to have other family members staying at home with you, ask them to get involved. This will get your pet used to spending more time with another family member so they don’t feel sad when you’re out of the house for a full day’s work. You can do this by getting your family member to take your pet for a walk, playing their favourite game or by giving them one of their meals. These small gestures will reduce your pets’ dependency on you, allowing them to deal better with your absence.

Giving Them Space: While we start to train our pets to be without us, we also need to train ourselves to do the same. Not only do pets feel separation anxiety, but also pet parents. Our pets have been fabulous companions through the lockdown, and we have gotten so used to cuddling them all day to deal with our lockdown blues. As life now gets back to normal, we need to give our pets the space that we’re asking of them. So if you see them sleeping, or spending time alone, resist the urge to go give their cute little faces a big smooch!

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