Preventing Dog Separation Anxiety When Returning To Work
It’s always a difficult moment when you have to leave your furry loved one at home while you go to work. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us had the opportunity to spend more time at home with our dogs, as we worked from home and did our best to social distance during pandemic-related shutdowns. In this article, we will explain how to ease your dog’s separation anxiety and create some tips on how best to prepare for leaving your dog behind while you go back to work.
What is Dog Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a form of behavioral change that occurs in dogs (and some cats). The pet may become anxious and sometimes depressed when they are away from their owners and suddenly separated from them, even for short periods of time. Dogs who are anxious about being separated from their owners usually need to see their owners frequently.
Common Signs of Separation Anxiety
Physical signs of dog separation anxiety include panting, pacing, refusing to eat or drink, barking, shivering, urine marking in the house, and defecating in the house. Behavioral signs of dog separation anxiety include barking excessively at people and objects outside the house. Sometimes a dog will try to escape from their confinement by physically attacking the door or window frame. In extreme cases, dogs may bite and scratch at themselves when they are kept in a confined space too long.
How To Prevent Dog Separation Anxiety
Here are just a few tips that can help prevent separation anxiety in your dog as you return to work.
Start Spending Time Out of the House, Away from Your Dog
One of the best ways to prevent dog separation anxiety is to spend more time away from your dog at home. Start by spending a few hours away from the house each day. When you come home, your dog will learn that you will come back, and you are not leaving him home alone forever. You can slowly increase the amount of time that you spend away from your dog until you reach the full 8 hours or so you’ll be away each day.
Create a New Routine
One of the most important ways to ease separation anxiety in dogs is to have a new and exciting routine for them at home when they are alone. Maybe you walk and feed them before spending 10 minutes cuddling on the couch. Then you’ll head out the door. By setting up certain expectations within your new routine, your dogs will learn what to expect. Routines can help to ease dog separation anxiety.
Find New Opportunities for Exercise
If you’re no longer going to be home with your dogs, they might have fewer opportunities to exercise. To ease separation anxiety, you can set up an exercise routine that will continue even on days when you go to work. An exercise routine might mean taking the dog with you on errands, bringing them for walks, or letting them out back for some playtime and a game of fetch.
Invest in Fun, Interactive Dog Toys
Although it’s fun to spend time with your dog, it’s also important for dogs to have some toys that they can play with when you’re not at home. Toys like Kongs, Nylabones, and stuffed animals can help to keep your dog busy while you are away. Give the dog a new toy before you leave every day and then rotate toys every week. Dogs will enjoy having something to play with while they wait for your return.
Looking For A Vet In Pompano Beach?
Dog separation anxiety can sometimes be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns about your dog’s behavior, talk to a vet about your options. Contact a member of our team at All Aboard Animal Hospital to discuss your pet and their needs.
Do you want more helpful pet-related information? Check out All Aboard Animal Hospital’s Vet Talk blog or follow All Aboard Animal Hospital on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest news and events!