During COVID, our pets got so used to having us home and being able to take them on walks and spend endless amounts of time together. With life getting back to normal and more people going back to work or being away from home more often, things are changing once again. Just as we are getting used to being back on schedule, our furry friends are going to need some time to adjust. As we are seeing more pets having some separation anxiety as their owners head back to normal life, we pulled together some tips to reduce the anxiety for our pets, and probably us!
Go For a Walk Before Leaving
Before leaving for a longer amount of time leave a block of time to take your dog on a walk or a run. Making this part of the routine will be a good way to prep your pet to be alone. A long or rigorous walk will put tire them out so they will want to rest as you leave and for a good amount of the time you are away.
Downplay Leaving and Coming
Try making a conscious effort to not make a big deal about leaving and coming from the house. This will make your time apart not seem like a big deal and won’t get them wound up during this time and anticipating the time you leave. Some things to avoid doing is talking, touching, and making eye contact. This can last anywhere from five minutes before leaving to an hour before leaving depending on the severity of the anxiety. If you are having a hard time not acknowledging that you are leaving, try saying goodbye long before you leave! We want our pets to understand this is business as usual!
Dogs can truly sense the way their owners feel about situations and the energy we put off. If you are nervous or stressed about leaving them, they are going to be nervous and stressed as well! Be confident that the time away will go well for both you and your furry family member, and it will reflect on the way your dog acts as well!
Start with a Shorter Amount of Time
If you are stressed about leaving your dog for a full day, try starting small! It can be a five minute trip to go get coffee for the first few times then be increased to 20 minutes and so on. Rather than shock both you and your dog with time away, slowly increase time to prep the both of you. This can also gauge how intense the separation anxiety is for your dog to ensure you are taking the proper steps to fix the problem.
Provide Background Noise
Having the sound of humans talking can be decrease the amount of stress your dog experiences as they will not feel as alone. Putting on an audiobook or TV show when you leave the house will allow them to feel as though a human is there with them and that it is normal to be in the home alone. This can be used for the longer trips away from the home to keep them at ease for the majority of time!