What can be better than a furry friend who greets you at the door after a long day at work! The thought of your pet pooch or feline friend impatiently waiting for you tugs at your heart’s strings and is one of the major reasons to finish work sooner! The feeling of seeing those beady eyes constantly staring at you after your return home, afraid to lose you again, never fails to give you goose bumps. You love them as much as they love you. However, have you often felt those pangs of guilt of not being able to give your pet enough attention? Since you are away at work all day, your pet may feel lonely and left out alone at home. This is why it’s important to make certain arrangements for them so that they are happy and safe even while you are away. A pet-crèche may be a solution for you, if you do not have budget constraints, but for others, here are some easy and cost-effective ways to keep your pet happy and healthy even in your absence:

Also read: Things to remember while involving your kids and pets

Ensure your pets have enough things to do on their own while you are away

Keep more than one pet: Like humans, animals need companionship too. They often feel lost when they are alone at home. Their lives revolve around you and they are clueless regarding when you will return.  What if you need to work late or plan to hang out with friends after work? Having two pets will ensure that they have each other for company and do not feel abandoned.

Also read: Keep Your Beloved Pet Stress Free!

Smell-me-out treats: Pets, like humans, are delighted by surprises! Give your pet a pleasant surprise by hiding a few treats in different places, (more unpredictable the better) for them to find. This way, they can spend some time indulging in a fun activity all by themselves. Make it a regular activity, so that your pet knows there is something in store for him/her every day.  Not knowing the exact places where you have hidden the treats, would ensure that when they find it they’ll be overjoyed to gulp down the treat.

When your pet greets you at the door, give all your attention to him and tell him how you missed him

Do a Pavlov: I’m talking about classical conditioning! Reinforce the time of your departure with something positive so that your pet won’t be depressed to watch you leave. For instance: add a dollop of peanut butter to some chicken broth and also add some small pieces of veggies and freeze it like a popsicle overnight. Give the popsicle to your pet just before you are leaving (you can give them any treat if not a popsicle) to make them associate the act of your leaving with something positive. This way, your pet will give you the ‘go-wherever-you-want-but-give-me-my-treat-before-leaving’ look the moment you start getting ready!

Also read: 10 Tips To Make Your House Pet Friendly

Taking care of a pet is a responsibility more serious than raising a child because while the latter grows up and can express himself, the former remains a child through its life. Take some steps to ensure its health and happiness while you are away and what you get in return will be lots of love and licks!