Do you have a pet at home? If so, you are not alone — tens of millions of Americans share their homes with animal companions. In fact, more than 63 million households have at least one dog, while another 42 million households have at least one cat. Other beloved pets include birds, freshwater and saltwater fish, reptiles, and rodents such as hamsters and gerbils.

Our pets can help stave off loneliness, isolation and stress, especially if you are working from home more often. Working from home was already a growing trend for many employees even before 2020; between 2005 and 2018, the number of remote personnel increased by more than 170%. The COVID-19 pandemic only served to accelerate this shift, as many companies requested that nonessential employees work from home.

Although many staffers are happy to settle into routines that do not involve extended, troublesome commutes or stuffy, stifling work clothes, those people with pets are facing some additional challenges. The beloved animal companion may start demanding a lot more attention now that you are working from home, yet you are expected to maintain high levels of productivity. What can pet owners do?

First, look at the situation from your pet’s perspective. Being at home more often can throw off the regular schedule. Creating new routines — such as walking your dog several times a day or scheduling frequent playdates for your cat — could help your animals feel more comfortable with the situation, relieving any anxiety they may have and encouraging peace. Make sure that your pet gets plenty of exercise. It might lower the risk of destructive or distracting behavior.

Fortunately, having pets could make the transition to a remote work environment easier to handle. A recent survey found that more than eight in ten pet parents say that spending time with their pets helps alleviate stress. More than half report feeling less anxious because their pets are with them, and two-thirds are happier working from home when their pets are there. Another bonus? Seven in ten owners says that they get more exercise by playing with or walking their pet. Plus, pet parents are more likely to turn to their pet than a significant other or family member if they are feeling overwhelmed.

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This article was created by the experts at Luxe Pet Hotels.