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If You're Returning To Work IRL, Begin Adjusting Your Pet's Schedule, An Expert Says

A couple walks their dog in downtown Los Angeles.
A couple walks their dog in downtown Los Angeles.
(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Our pets have been a great source of companionship during the pandemic.

Over the last year, the number of animals entering L.A. animal shelters went down, and Los Angeles Animal Services says the percentage of pets getting adopted went up.

But if you're someone who got a pandemic pet -- especially a dog -- you and your furry friend need to start making some adjustments now before you eventually head back to the office.

Nicole Ellis, with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, says dogs love routine, so start building up their alone time. And she says maybe hire a dog walker.

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"And if you're gonna do that, consider having them start before you go back to work. So then you're there when your pet leaves for their dog walk, they can build a connection with that dog walker with you're there, and it's all really positive. And that's what we want, we want it to not be a stressful change."

Ellis says it's also crucial to begin adjusting feeding schedules now, and make sure you have a friend or neighbor who's willing to check in on that pooch if you're gonna be gone for long hours.

By the way, none of this applies to cats.