Returning to Work? Avoid Separation Anxiety with These Tips!
Updated: Oct 7
Coronavirus has changed life for us and our pets.
But another change is coming for our pets as restrictions
begin to ease up and we return to work.
How will your pet cope with being on their own again?
For most dogs (and even other pets), the last several months have been heaven on earth as their humans have been isolated with them at home. But as we begin to return to work and other daily activities, will our pets be able to make the transition without feeling the challenges of separation anxiety?
Since they will not understand why we are suddenly gone all day, it’s important to put a plan in place now to help your pets – particularly dogs – effectively transition back to long empty days.
3 Ways to Plan Ahead to Avoid Separation Anxiety
By keeping your dog occupied during the hours you are once again gone, you can help them avoid anxiety or distress from being left home alone. Consider these ideas to help:
Hire a dog walker or pet sitter to help break up your pet’s day. Call about our expert pet care services for your pet before you return to your job.
Even felines can become lonely and anxious with their guardian suddenly spending less time at home.
Most dogs should not be left alone for 10 to 12-hour days. Most pet care professionals advise no more than 6 hours alone without a break.
Young puppies and senior dogs should not even be left alone for 4 hours without someone checking up on them and providing potty breaks and quality time for their overall physical and emotional well-being.
Look into local doggy daycares to break up the day - or the week - for your beloved canine.
Increase your dog’s training so your pup is happy and tired the next day when you need to be gone. Join a local class, bring a dog trainer to your home for some private, one-on-one training or set up a video, online training session to keep your pooch happy and engaged!
Planning Ahead: Why it’s Essential
Dogs, more than any other pet, rely upon their humans for leadership, companionship and their overall well-being. Especially after being with us for 24/7 for the last few months, their emotional health, in particular, could be in jeopardy with suddenly being alone for long periods.
By nature, dogs are social creatures and thrive surrounded by their pack for comfort and security. When this suddenly changes, dogs can succumb to distressed or anxious behaviors. Preventing these behaviors before they happen, is the best possible option for your dog and you!
The first signs of a dog’s discomfort at being home alone is called Isolation Distress and is the first stage of developing into full-blown Separation Anxiety. Ignoring these signs will not make the anxiety improve or disappear. Signs include:
Barking or howling
Messes in the house
Scratching walls, floors and doors
Excessive panting and/or drooling
Separation anxiety involves a dog who is fearful of being alone. Think of it as an intense panic attack for a person! By planning ahead, you can help your dog avoid unnecessary stress and distress.
Preventing Separation Anxiety: 4 Easy Tips to Use NOW
Even before you go back to work, use any of the 4 tips below to help your dog begin transitioning to being ok with being alone.
Start following your normal schedule for work (getting up, getting ready and even leaving the house for a few minutes). Work up to longer times.
Crate your dog when you are at work? Begin recreating that schedule now.
Ask your dog (including puppies) to leave you alone. Use the following cues and be sure to also release them:
Go to (their bed, their crate, etc.)
Discourage your dog from following you everywhere. Ask for your space with the cues above and remember to release them too.
Remember, our pets depend upon us for their best life.
Set your pet up for success by addressing potential separation anxiety today!
Your Pet AuPair
Can help your pets avoid the stress
of separation anxiety!
Our expert pet care services will help your pet readjust to being alone again during the day when you return to work.
Offering Dog Walking and other Pet Care Services in the Harford County, Maryland areas of Bel Air, Forest Hill, Abingdon, Fallston and Churchville!
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To get started with our professional, bonded and insured pet care services,
just call 410-989-1533 or click here to get a quote.
ASPCA: Separation Anxiety
Pets.Webmd: How to Ease Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety
Canine Journal: How to Deal with Separation Anxiety in Dogs