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Home alone: Reducing pet stress

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Your pets may not work a 9 to 5, and they can take naps whenever they want, but there are ways to make their lives even more of a walk in the park.

Tire them out

Especially on chilly days, getting out of bed and outside may be the last thing you want to do, but pumping up your pet’s (and maybe your own) heart-rate up with a brisk walk or run can tire them out for while you’re away during the day.

While on walks, switch up the route you take. New sights and smells are enjoyable for your pet, and it helps them get used to changing environments and people.

And if you really can’t manage a walk, playing with your cat or dog inside or in the yard can tire them out, which may reduce the amount of anxiety they feel (and it might work for you too).

Give them something to play with

Have a number of toys on-hand to keep your pet busy while you’re away. Toys and other distractions can help cats and dogs who have separation anxiety.

Some examples for dogs include balls and chew-toys, while cats enjoy hiding spots like boxes or places they can perch.