Returning to Work? How to Help with Canine Separation Anxiety
Pre-COVID-19, our four-legged friends probably loved having the house or apartment to themselves while you were away working your tail off to support their needs and wants. Whether it was being home alone for 6 or 12 hours a day, your pup was a champ at being on their best behavior as well as catching up on all their very needed naps.
Fast forward through to the current pandemic: our doggos are not the same. Over the last year, we’ve spent more time at home – doing everything. Not only has this changed our dynamic with our housemates, but also our pet mates. From spending hours apart to now more hours together than not, our furry friends may not be complaining with all this extra time and attention of their favorite human around. But what’s next? What happens when your caring paw parent gets the crystal clear to head back into the office? How will our dogs respond to us being gone for those long hours again?
As cities and states across the country begin to get the okay to reopen and head back to work, we have to take into consideration our furry friend’s response to this too.
In today’s article, we’ll touch on the possibilities of canine separation anxiety, what this may look like for your pup, and how you can help fido ease back into the ‘home alone’ transition.
Let’s get started.
Prepare to Leave Your Canine: One Step at a Time
This may sound silly and maybe ‘no big deal’ for you, but this may not be the case for your doggo when it comes time for you to head out for your big back-to-the-office day.
Get your dog used to you leaving for longer periods of time and coming back again. This can help ease them into what is to come when you start doing this on the regular again. Start with short trips – maybe a grocery store run or a gym session. You can slowly increase the time you’re gone from the house over time.
This may help with any separation anxiety your pet may be feeling or developing over time with you. As this may be harsh and scary for them, increasing your time away throughout the day can help ease them into being alone again.
Another thing worth mentioning, if you normally put fido somewhere before you head to work, start doing that again. Even if it’s only for a short time, they will start to recognize and maybe remember why you’re putting them there in the first place.
Regular Work Day Routines
If your dog typically goes in your room or their kennel when you’re away at work, start there again. Try putting them in their crate or working in another room for a few hours to try and get them used to being away from you for a bit.
For those who use dog walkers try and booking a session in the afternoon while you’re still at home. This may help reduce your dog’s anxiety by transitioning them to an outdoor activity with a new person. It may also help if you continue to use a dog walker even when you’re back at the office. It may excite your pup to get to know a new human face and do an outdoor activity while you’re away.
What Causes Dog Separation Anxiety?
There are multiple underlying causes linked to separation anxiety in dogs. If your pup begins to have a nervous breakdown when they sense that you’ll be leaving soon, consider whether certain changes have recently happened in your living space.