After COVID lockdowns, working from home, home-schooling & school holidays, many of us will worry about the impact this will have on our pets. Your pet may or may not experience any problem with the transition of our return to the hectic work/school life. There are some simple things to do in the lead up to your return that can help or indeed prevent any problems manifesting such as separation anxiety.
What is separation anxiety?
By definition, separation anxiety is the display of distress in the absence of an attachment figure. Changes in dog's behaviors in the owner’s absence can become evident such as, whining, pacing & panting. When owners return home, they may notice that their dog is a little more needier of attention & may follow them more often than usual.
What can I do to prepare my dog for my return to work?
There are a few things that you can do in the lead up to this event. Our pets are creatures of habit & need to become accustomed to this being the new routine.
These 5 simple things will make a huge impact:
- Build them up to being left alone gradually. Begin with leaving them securely for small periods of time.
- Keep set meal times
- Don't make a fuss of your dog when you leave home, this can make things worse
- Exercise them each day, before or after work
- Leave a range of boredom & enriching toys to keep them occupied
Check in with neighbours
Ask your neighbours if they hear your dog barking or whining excessively in your absence. Most neighbours will be more than happy to keep an eye on things & report back to you.
Hire a dog walker
This is a great way to break up the day for your stay at home dog. Look for a reputable dog walker in your area, they are the best investment! They will not only exercise your dog, they will also report back to you on your dogs' wellbeing. Some dog walkers will take your dog to the dog park or choose a different route on each walk, either way, this is a valuable service.
Top 5 toys to prevent boredom in dogs
Remember, you may need a variety of toys that you rotate to maintain your dogs' interest. You may also need to use a combination of things such as a thundershirt & treat puzzle. Give your dog time to adjust & if symptoms become worse, consult your vet.
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