Over the past year life has changed for all of us, even our pets. Working from home has had a major impact on our daily routines and now with some of us returning back to work or preparing to in the near future, the sudden change in routine can result in separation anxiety in our furry friends.
Even dogs that have previously been comfortable with daily isolation may find the transition tough. Your pup has become accustomed to constant company throughout the day and as pet owners we need to be mindful of the impact our return to work may have.
Here are four tips to help you avoid separation anxiety when you return to work:
- Start changes slowly – If you have been at home all of the time, start changing things up by leaving for a few hours each day. When you return home, downplay your dog’s enthusiasm by redirecting them to something else. Show them you are happy to see them but don’t overly excite them, act like it was no big deal that you left.
- Provide a crate, toys, treats, and other fun things – If your dog is crate trained, leave them in their crate for an hour, along with toys or a dental chew. If they don’t have a crate, let them hang out in another room with these fun distractions while you work.
- Maintain your dog’s routine – If you need to start feeding your dog at a certain time, as well as going on those daily walks, start now. Once you return to work, don’t change the routine on weekends or days you are off. Stick to the daily routine, even if you happen to be home for the day.
- Use enrichment tools during the day – Dogs become bored quickly without exercise and enrichment so consider purchasing interactive games, video games, and treat dispensing puzzles. Leave a window curtain open, where they can look out at birds and the great outdoors. Some dogs may like the sound of a television or radio as well.