If you have been stuck at home like the rest of us and have a dog, your pet is probably thrilled about it. Everyone loves their pets they are part of the family and it’s one of the positives we can cling to in this episode of the world. Our dogs get to enjoy more family time than normal. Of course everyone’s situation is different, but generally speaking most pets love their owners too. Being at home more gives the pets in our lives more emotional context, they experience more with us around and bond to us more as a result.
So when the world reopens and you go back to your normal routine consider you canine friend. Some dogs can develop separation anxiety and now that we are home more than ever the chances of that happening are far greater. I found a decent article about the issue here
From the article: “Separation anxiety happens when a dog that’s hyper-attached to his owner gets super-stressed when left alone. It’s more than a little whining when you leave or a bit of mischief while you’re out. It’s a serious condition and one of the main reasons owners get frustrated with their dogs and give them up.”
Dogs are often emotionally dependent on their humans, so once you start cutting down the time with them they don’t immediately understand why. Many dogs have separation anxiety, I have witnessed this first hand on a few occasions and it can be mild to severe. Barking, thrashing, toileting in the house…. If you’re canine friend has this issue it’s not fun to deal with.
So as we start the slow walk back to whatever normal is going to be its highly likely you will be spending less time with your pet. There are a couple of things you can do for your dog to alleviate this issue. Although to be blunt, time is really the only true fix as your dog has to get back to its new normal as well.
To help your dog adjust, consistent walking schedule is key. The time of day and the frequency are the two most important things to help get over this potential issue. If your pet can rely on a walk with you it can adjust to it, if it’s sporadic, unplanned and haphazard it will make the issue worse.
Take your dog for its walk the same time(s) every day, without fail. Make it a time that is reasonable for you but be consistent. This will be the dogs bonding time with you, beyond playtime in the house. If your dog knows it’s going for a walk at dusk everyday they can adjust their expectations accordingly and reduce anxiety.
Also consider multiple walks a day if your schedule permits, one in the AM and one in the PM. The longer the better. Remember this is when your dog’s get to get out, engage their senses and feel safe with you. More is better, if you can manage it. Your canine friend will thank you!