Because of the COVID crises, a lot of folks were forced to spend time at home. As big a challenge as that was there were some who loved it. That would be all the dogs. Nothing makes a dog happier than to be around their family. Now that you might be headed back to work, your pup could be experiencing separation anxiety. Even if they were totally chill with your normal work routine before, it can be a drastic change to suddenly go back to that and leave them alone for long stretches of time. You might notice a problem if you come home to more chewed up shoes and accidents. There are ways you can help with your dog’s separation anxiety. Here’s what you can do:
Take Them for a Walk Before Leaving
You want to be sure to get a good walk in with your dog before going off to work. This isn’t just letting them out to do their business but providing your dog a chance to work off some excess energy. To that end, you might even want to have them wear a dog backpack with weights. (check with your vet first!). When you come back, reward your dog with a treat and water. They might be tuckered out when you leave and that’s a good thing.
Don’t Make a Big Deal
When you finally do head out, don’t make a big deal of it. Try to avoid touching, talking or making eye contact. That communicates to your dog that your leaving is no big deal. You might want to practice the “no contact” rule for five minutes or longer before leaving. You can say goodbye to your dog and show them affection. Just make sure that happens long before you go. That’s for you. They won’t know the difference!
To get ready for your back to work schedule, you might want to practice leaving your dog for five or ten minutes at a time. You can then increase that practice until the positive behaviors are locked down.
Leave an Audiobook Running
New studios have found that playing audiobooks for dogs can have a calming effect and lessen their separation anxiety.
When you come home, they’re going to be excited. Before you show your affection, let them calm down. They’ll get back into the routines along with you.