By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some people are finally starting to go back to work more and back to school. So, what does that do to the pets who are used to us being in the house all the time?

Animal advocate Carol Erickson put together a checklist of dos and don’ts of things you want to do to make sure your pets are also getting enriched and engaged as you will be increasingly enriched and engaged by the opening up of things.

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You want to make sure that you give your dog enough exercise before you leave for the day that they’ll be relaxed but not exhausted.

Leave them some special food, to keep them busy while you’re gone.

Also make show sure their physical comfort needs are met, so you take them outside to go to the bathroom and give them enough time to do everything they need to do. Make sure that water is available and there’s enough food until you’re back.

If you’re going to be gone for a long period of time, get a pet sitter or a dog walker or even a reliable neighbor comes in to play with the dog. Because if you’re going to be gone four hours a day, that’s a long time for a dog.

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You are their enrichment so you have to make sure you do the things you need to do to keep their minds occupied because it’s not just physical stimulation and racing around, they also need mental stimulation as well.

You may want to schedule a time every single day, a good chunk of time where you put your phone down and engage with your animal.

If you have a dog and all you do is occasionally pet them, that’s not enough of a life for a dog.  You have to re-examine how you’re interacting with that dog because you do not want to way for this animal to display some bad habits before you realized, you should have enriched their environment.

You have to make it fun and some dogs are more prone to that than other dogs.

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Watch the video for this week’s full segment.