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What you should do if your pet spends time home alone, Dr Katrina Warren reveals top tips | Exclusive

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With more and more people returning to work post pandemic our pets are slowly spending more time home alone.

Not to mention the fact that our lives seem to be increasingly busy, with multiple family members working full or part-time, plus other commitments, such as social and sporting activities.

Lonely pets can become bored or anxious and sometimes destructive. While dogs and cats both enjoy human company, they can be content home alone if they’re well managed. 

READ MORE: Misbehaving dogs: What a vet wants you to know

Dogs and cats can be content home alone if they’re well managed. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

READ MORE: How to know if your dog or cat loves you, according to a vet

Here are some tips to help owners minimise the amount of time pets spend alone and reduce the impact of being left alone.

Homework – Consider working from home at least some of the time, if possible. Whether it’s a full day, an hour each day, or even a few days here or there it can make a huge difference to your pet. You might also find it’s possible to look after someone else’s pet in your home one day, then swap and leave your pet at their house another day.

Outsource – Send your dog to doggy day care, for grooming or organise a friend or dog walker to visit when you know you’ll be out for an extended period.  Make sure you visit the premises first and interview the people who will be caring for your dog. 

Entertainment – Enrich your cat’s environment by providing safe toys like balls, scratching posts and elevated places for cats to climb. Leave dogs with dogs treat balls or safe, interactive toys to keep them occupied when you’re not around. 

READ MORE: How much does a dog really cost? What to expect as a new owner

Leave dogs with interactive toys to keep them occupied when you’re not around.  (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Tire Them Out – Give your pet plenty of physical and mental exercise before you know you’ll be out for an extended period, so your pet is tired and more inclined to sleep while you’re away. Keep in mind pets tend to spend a lot of time quietly snoozing; indoor cats can sleep for 16 to 20 hours a day and many dogs spend most of their day sleeping, sometimes up to 14 hours a day. 

Indoors & Outdoors – Cats love to explore the outdoors but it is much safer for them to be confined so they don’t risk being hit by a car, getting in a fight or catching diseases from other cats. If possible provide safe, secure outdoor access, this may require a doggy door, screening a balcony or installation of a cat enclosure.

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Destructive dogs and cats caught in the act

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