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How to prevent separation anxiety in pets as you head back to the office after Covid-19

EL PASO, Texas -- As businesses slowly begin to open back up, many employees will be transitioning from working at home to working in the office again.

This change might be a shock to some pets who were so used to having their owners at home.

"A lot of dogs, especially now that people are going to be going back to work, these dogs that have been home with their owners are gonna wonder, are you coming back," said Loretta Hyde, kennel manager at the Animal Rescue League of El Paso.

With pet owners heading back home after months of working from home, they might notice a few changes in their furry friends.

“Doggies that have not been socialized or left home alone often don’t know if you’re coming back. They can show symptoms of jumping, barking chewing, digging. All the things that you think might just be behavioral issues are signs of separation anxiety,” said Hyde.

Separation anxiety is not an uncommon issue in pets.

"Anxiety comes in all forms you just need to recognize what’s gonna be best for that animal so that you can address it when you’re not there," said Hyde.

A few ways to recognize separation anxiety in your pets can range from excessive chewing to constant crying.

“Dogs in the house, you can see them run up to the window and they pull down the blinds or they chew on the walls next to the window because they’re sitting there waiting for you to get home and they get bored,” said Hyde.

Pet owners are encouraged to invest in chew toys to help their dogs focus their energy on something other than wondering when their owner is coming back.

“For puppies, they have chew toys where you can fill them up with kibble, and instead of feeding your dog in a bowl you can feed them here and the dog has to roll it around for hours and it gives them someplace for that energy to go,” said Hyde.

If you’re planning on staying at work late, investing in extra help is a plus too.

"If you could afford somebody to come walk your dog that's great because they do have dog walkers that can help take them out while you're gone,” said Hyde.

Making sure to keep a routine for your pet is key when trying to give them a sense of comfort and assurance that you’ll be back.

"Don’t give up on them. It does get better you just have to follow through with a routine," said Hyde.

And practicing patience with your four legged family member is the most important tip.

“It's not gonna happen overnight so don’t expect that, but there’s things that you can do to help alleviate the symptoms that you see.”

Coronavirus / Coronavirus Video / Lifestyle / Video

Iris Lopez

Iris Lopez is a weathercaster and reporter for ABC-7.

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