Separation Anxiety in Dogs When Pet Parents Return to Work

by Lisa Fimberg on September 4, 2020

One of the benefits of the Covid 19 Pandemic has been the number of puppies and kittens that have been purchased.  It certainly is understandable. What better time to bring a new furry family member home when pet parents really have the time to bond and train their puppy or dog.

While this surge in puppy ownership has been a big win for both pet retailers and breeders, what happens to dogs and cats when pet owners return to work?  In fact, many states will lift their work-from-home restrictions soon and many pet owners will return to their offices.   Even the kids may return to the classrooms in the fall.

When pet owners do go back to work, the cats and dogs will be left alone all day and can become anxious or depressed.  This is when separation anxiety can really kick in, even for the most the temperate pets.

While dogs and cats will adjust to the change, it might take some time.  It is very common for any interruption in a dog or cat’s schedule to lead to emotional stress.

There are many ways you can help your customers to ease the transition and lessen their pets’ separation anxiety.

What can stores do to assist customers with this transition?

  • In store signage/collateral for tips on handling the back to work transition (see below for our suggestions)!
  • Food puzzles, toys, or bones are a great distraction for dogs. Make sure to have toys, puzzles, and chews in stock Even better, create an end cap “Back to Work” end cap section that showcases products that can help ease this transitional period.
  • Is it time for a friend? Many pet parents may be considering bringing home pup #2.  Studies show dogs are social animals and prefer to be part of a pack.  Consider advertising for or creating a “Little Pupper” (#2) discount.
  • Promote health and wellness in your leash and harness section. A tuckered out pup is generally less anxious one.

Separation anxiety is a reality among pets and can become an issue if not treated from the start.  However, with some practice exercises and toys, or natural aid products to keep their dogs and cats busy or calm, pet parents can feel comfortable leaving their pets’ alone.

And just remember our agents are here to help.  Our agents are trained to assist with all types of customer questions regarding pet behavior.  We can help take the burden off your shoulders and help your customers with not only separation anxiety in their pets, but any other issue your customers might have!

Here are some tips to provide pet owners:

If you’d like to order copies of the above for in-store branded collateral, please contact your Success Team rep for more details!

Lisa FimbergSeparation Anxiety in Dogs When Pet Parents Return to Work