Reducing dog separation anxiety post Covid-19

 

Sad looking dogThe stay-at-home orders due to Covid-19 have given dog owners plenty of time to spend with their lovely pooches. Although your dog probably doesn’t understand why you’re home all the time, they’ll probably be loving the extra attention they’re getting. However, as the country slowly opens up again, you’ll need to reintroduce your dog back to their normal routines. Below are a few useful tips to help your best furry friend’s daily life after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

 

Your dog’s view on Covid-19

Dog kissing owner

While the last two months have been a difficult time for most, your dog has probably relished your extra company and attention. You may have even had more time to take them out on extra walks! Prior to this, however, they were probably used to very long, extended periods on their own. With you being at home more though, this new daily situation has become normal for them.

So, while the country is opening up and getting back to our version of ‘normal’, your dog will have become completely adjusted to life with the stay-at-home orders. By suddenly going back to work and leaving them for 8-9 hours a day, your pup will be left confused, lonely, and possibly even depressed. Separation anxiety is common for dogs that experience long periods of time on their own, or if they are left alone after being in company of others. So, it is vital that during this time, you need to think about their future daily life, and making sure the transition to ‘normal’ is as smooth as possible.

 

 

Tip 1: Get your dog adjusted to being alone again

 

While your dog is enjoying your extra attention now, you need to be mindful that soon they will be alone all day. One way to get them used to long days alone is by giving them some time to themselves every day, starting now. Introduce them to alone time with short periods of 30-60 minutes, and gradually increase this.

When it comes to their alone time, you should have your dog in a different room from you, somewhere they can’t see you.  It’s essential that you create a comfortable area for your dog to spend time alone in. This includes having some toys to calm them down, cushions, water bowls, and toileting area.

Moreover, make your dog’s alone time desirable. In other words, create a positive association to the experience so they can still look forward to it. You can do this in a number of ways, such as letting them play with their favorite toy, or giving them their favorite treat.

 

Tip 2: Get your dog back to their old walking routine

One way to ensure your dog is happy and healthy when you return to work is to continue their daily walks, but also getting it back to their normal routine. During the last few months, you may have been taking them out for more daily walks, and at different times. While this is great for their fitness, you need to ensure that the walks don’t suddenly stop when you return to work. In general, dogs need at least 30-35 minutes of aerobic exercise today.

So if you were walking them at 6am every morning, try to get back into this routine. Do this gradually, and they will feel more at ease when the frequency and/or length of walks change.

 

Tip 3: Bring them to a doggy daycare

Happy dogs in daycare

Perhaps you’ve already started back at work, and you’re noticing your dog is struggling with being alone. It’s essential to keep a daily routine, which involves some enrichment time, exercising, and resting. If you’re having a hard time providing them with these routines, then doggy daycare is an excellent solution.

The Dog Stop is still open and offers pick-up and drop-off dog daycare services, as well as in-home dog walking appointments. So far, there is limited evidence that animals can spread the coronavirus. In addition, we follow strict cleaning practices which are done multiples times a day.

 

 

Just remember, in everything you do for your dog – try to get it back to how it was before Covid-19. When you return to work, your dog will have become used to your extra company and attention. Here at The Dog Stop – we can answer any of your concerns about your pup and Covid-19. Contact us at one of our locations, and we’ll be glad to help you with your dog’s needs.