Preparing your dog to reduce separation anxiety post-Covid
Hopefully, for most of us life is returning to ‘normal’ after the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic and we look forward to getting back to work. In September, children will be returning to school and many of us heading back to the office and for our precious four-legged friends this change in routine isn’t going to be a welcome one.
Top tips for dogs
However, there are a few things you can do to help prepare your dog for your return to work:
- Gradually change the timings of your dog’s routine to how it will be when you return to work – ie walks and food first thing in the morning and early evening.
- During lockdown you may have offered lots of walks and extra attention. It may seem unkind, particularly if you haven’t returned to work yet, but reduce the amount of attention you give to your dog during the day and expect him to amuse himself a little – perhaps offer them a toy or chew to settle with and don’t pat and stroke him every time he nudges you. Keep your quality interaction time to the time it will be when you return to work.
- Start leaving your dog alone at home for increasing periods during the day to get him used to being left and increase the duration gradually. However, if your dog shows distress at being left, it is worth speaking to a behaviourist for advice.
- Introduce all changes to your dog’s routine gradually and in a positive way – don’t scold him for not cooperating but reward him for positive behaviour.
Good luck – and hope your dog adjusts to his (or her) new routine quickly – and make sure you give lots of cuddles when you get home.