When the world shutdown with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, your dog became more than your furry family member. He or she became the colleague you worked from home with or your support system, providing happiness on long days isolated at home. For the last year, your pup has been a faithful companion, growing accustomed to spending every waking moment with you and enjoying the perks of your undivided attention, including endless back rubs, long games of fetch and plenty of extra treats.
As the world starts to open up again, many pet parents will return back to the office for work or will start to spend more time away from home, leaving pets all alone. It’s important not to surprise your dog with this new alone time as they have likely developed some form of separation anxiety. Instead, set your pup up for success by easing your way into this new normal. This will help them to feel confident and comfortable while you’re away. Check out these helpful tips to implement before heading back to the office:
Practice a Morning Routine
Reduce the buildup of separation anxiety by practicing things you’ll do before you leave for work at random times throughout the day. This removes your dog’s association of the behavior signaling you’re leaving. Pick up and jingle your keys. Set alarms to go off at different times in the day. Pick up your work bag and moving it to another room. All of these practice activities will help get your dog comfortable with the real thing.
Don’t Make Goodbyes and Hellos A Big Deal
This can be a hard one for pet parents as these greetings are a way to express love. But by doing this, you create anxiety for your dog as they get worked up thinking that you leaving or returning is a big deal they should worry about. When you come and go from your home, do so with little interaction and a calm attitude. If you want to give your furry family member some love before you part for the day, do it about 10 minutes before you leave. When you return home, only acknowledge your pup when he or she has calmed down from your entrance.
A tired dog equals a happy dog. Wear out your dog with physical activity like a run, long walk or game of fetch before you leave the house. Make sure that you have 20-30 minutes after this exercise to let your pup calm down before you leave. This way he or she doesn’t mix the excitement of having fun with you with their anxiety of you leaving.
Give Special Treats and Toys
Designate toys and treats that are only given to your dog when you’re gone. This provides a positive reinforcement with your absence from the home. To keep them engaged long after you’ve left, choose toys and treats that engage them in mental stimulation like a peanut butter stuffed KONG or a puzzle toy. Once you’re back home, remove these from your dog’s environment so they maintain the allure while you’re gone.
Take Them To Dog Daycare
Give your dog the Most Exciting Day Ever by bringing them to Dogtopia! Your furry family member will spend the day playing, socializing and learning with their BFFFs (best furry friends forever) under the care of our trained Canine Coaches. They’ll be living their best life and enjoying 8-10 hours of open play in our clean, safe and climate-controlled playrooms, where dogs are separated by size and temperament. You don’t have to miss out on the fun while at work! Check out what your dog is up to anytime on the live webcams available on our mobile app and website. Peace of mind for you and a fun-filled day for your dog, what’s what we call a win-win! Ensure your dog doesn’t spend the days alone and schedule dog daycare at a Dogtopia near you.