Top Tips For Leaving Your Pet Home Alone After COVID
With founder of Relax My Dog and Relax My Cat, Amman Ahmed.
As businesses across the U.S. are starting to reopen their doors, many pet owners are heading back to work full-time. After months of being home 24/7 with our furry companions, easing back into a regular work routine is going to be more important than ever. In order to help pet owners reduce our pet’s separation anxiety, we asked the founder of Relax My Dog and Relax My Cat to share some of his favorite tips and tricks.
You can also read up on the signs of pet anxiety and what else you can do about it.
Meet, Amman Ahmed. He and his business partner, Ricardo Henriquez, have spent the last 9 years creating a bark load of music and television content made specially for dogs and cats. Their expertly curated experimental tracks have been scientifically proven to reduce pet anxiety, boredom, loneliness, and hyperactivity. Since 2011, they have successfully helped over 10 million dogs and 2 million cats in over 100 countries worldwide.
[Odie interviewer] Amman, thank you so much for hopping on our call today. This ended up being perfect timing now that pet owners are starting to go back to work after the pandemic.
[Amman Ahmed, Relax My Dog and Relax My Cat] Of course, thank you for having me.
Why don’t you start by telling our readers how you started making music and tv for pets.
Well, we started almost 9 years ago. My business partner, Ricardo, was a music producer living in El Salvador which is especially dangerous and loud. His dog, Rocky, was having a lot of anxiety from all of the sirens, nearby street violence, gun fire, etc. Meanwhile, I was in university and experimenting with music therapy to try and stay focused. We had worked on a few musical projects together and came up with the idea of creating music therapy for dogs. We started creating content and gathering data on how the music affected Rocky. After a lot of trial and error, we began finding the right formulas and knew we were on to something.
Since we didn’t have money for expensive research, we posted the content on YouTube and gathered even more data from fans. We fine tuned the content we posted and the positive feedback started to grow.
How many pet owners subscribe to your platforms today?
We have over 20 million pets consuming content between our YouTube channels, Spotify playlists and subscriptions.
It began with just music and in 2017 we started creating tv for dogs.
Can pet owners who work full-time keep your content running all day?
Yes! Our typical user consumes about 8 hours of content per day. We actually just did another study and found out that over 1,000 years of content is being consumed every 28 days on our platforms!
Pet owners who are at work all day prefer our subscription because it has over 1,000 hours of video and music content without the advertising breaks.
What are some of the biggest differences between the content made for dogs versus cats?
Dogs love to watch our tv content. It seems to keep them more engaged and busy. Cats, on the other hand, love the birds. Slightly different content. They also gravitate towards slightly different musical arrangements and frequencies.
You’ve done a lot of research on how music therapy positively affects pet anxiety. Is there anything else pet owners can do to help ease separation anxiety?
It’s actually pretty basic stuff. When thinking about the bigger picture, which is reducing separation anxiety, start by taking care of basics and focus on the transition.
#1 Create Boundaries
Your home is your space and pet owners need to make their boundaries very clear. A great way to do that is to have a separate room just for you. It should be a place where you can relax and be alone. At the same time, your pet also needs his or her own separate space. This is their “den”. It may be a crate or a guest room which holds all of their toys and belongings.
#2 Find A Middle Ground
Once you each have a place to retreat for alone time, find a middle ground where you can interact and play. For most pet owners, the middle ground is their living room. Your pet will begin to associate the living room with socialization and your “personal space” with alone time.
#3 Start With Practice Runs
Just like training a puppy to be left home alone, start by leaving the house for 15 minutes and slowly build up the time you’re away. When you do go or leave, don’t make a big fuss about the situation. Pack up your things in a different room and try to keep it out of site. Once you return home, reward them with a special treat.
#4 Maintain a Predictable Routine
Right now, pet parents probably don’t have a set daily schedule. They may be sleeping in or going to bed later than they typically would. But, this is going to change once everyone starts going back to work. Start getting into a regular work routine by waking up, feeding and walking your pet, and going to bed at specific times of the day. This will give your pet a sense of predictability they can look forward to. Maintaining strict discipline is more so for your pet’s mental health. They need basic discipline and routine to reduce separation anxiety and feel a sense of security.
#5 Ask to Work From Home
If companies allow, try to work from home a couple days a week and slowly build up the time you go to the office.
#6 Provide Plenty of Entertainment
Fill your pet’s den with plenty of toys and games that will keep them entertained for hours. One of the best ways to keep your pet busy is with a Relax My Dog or Relax My Cat subscription. For $4.99 per month, pet owners get access to unlimited music and videos made specifically for cats and dogs. This service is filled with content scientifically proven to help ease your pet’s anxiety, boredom, loneliness and hyperactivity.
What are some of your most popular products to date?
We have such a big range of products and multiple ways to consume our content. Some pet owners love the free content we have on Youtube while others dislike the adverts and prefer our subscription instead. The subscription tends to work for people who have used our content for a while and want to access it on different devices. You can stream Relax My Dog or Relax My Pet on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire. Plus you get access to unlimited video and audio with no interruptions.
We recently did a market study of 5,000-6,000 users and 80% of them said they watch Relax My Dog or Relax My Cat with their pets.