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tips to help you minimize the time your pet spends alone and reduce the impact of being alone

Consider working from home. It may be for a full day, an hour each day, or even a week here and there. You might even look after someone else’s pet in your home, then swap and leave your pet at their house at times.

Plan your schedule so that one member of the household is around when the others aren’t.

Send your dog to doggy day care, grooming or a play group when you’re out for an extended period of time.

Encourage your pet to bond with people other than you. Have a friend, relative or trusted house-sitter or dog-walker come and feed and “hang out” with your dog or cat or walk your dog when you’re out.

Adopt a canine or feline companion so your pet always has a friend to spend time with.

If you have a dog, reward him for responding calmly to cues such as keys rattling, signalling you are about to leave the house.

Avoid making a fuss of your pet whenever you leave or return home, just speak quietly until they are calm.

Enrich your pet’s environment by providing toys such as treat balls or scratching posts. In the common problems section we provide tips to help prevent boredom.

Give your pet plenty of physical and mental exercise when you know you’ll be out for an extended period so the pet is tired and more inclined to sleep while you are away.

Maximise the time you spend with your pet when you are home.

Provide safe outdoor access if possible. In the common problems section we provide information on safe outdoor access for cats.

Remember, all these suggestions should happen at regular and predictable times so that you do not increase your pet’s anxiety.