Coronavirus: Experts weigh in on preparing pets for their owners returning to work

ABC7 spoke with pet experts at Best Friends Animal Society LA about how to get pets ready for the day that they're left alone once again.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Two symbols of this time of stay-at-home orders have most definitely been sweatpants and pets on video conferences. To us humans, this has been a trial not by fire, but by cabin fever.

To our pets, it's been what they've always dreamed of. But all good things must end.

"For the dogs who are very people oriented, they're going to have a tough time when we switch to working normal eight hour days," said Janelle Metiva, dog behavior specialist with Best Friends Animal Society LA.

On Sunday, ABC7 spoke with Metiva and cat expert Samantha Bell of Best Friends Animal Society LA about how to get pets ready for the day that they're left alone once again.

"If you adjusted that, say you started feeding your cat four times a day instead of three times a day, stop. Stop doing that and go back to a schedule that you can maintain once you go back to work," said Bell.

"People need to practice leaving for at least short periods of time. Go for a walk, go for a drive, don't take your dog with you on every errand so that they can get used to that old schedule again," said Metiva.

They also suggest leaving dogs or cats with independent activities, like engaging toys that hold a treat inside that the pet needs to work to get to.

"If your home is enriching, you're setting them up for success."

And for all of the new pet owners who have helped empty the shelters around Los Angeles during the last two months, a word of advice: if you're getting a bit cranky being around your family all day every day, your pet may be too.

"A lot of animals are really good at tolerating a lot of attention from kids, even though they may not love it, so it's important if you have children and pets to give the dog or cat a little time away. A little privacy. Everybody needs a little me time," said Metiva.

There is still a need for foster homes. Visit here for a list of resources.
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