Given that so many of us have faced lockdowns over the last 12 months, it has no doubt been a testing time for many dog owners. Our pooches are obsessed with us owners and we are the most important thing that happens during their day, aside from eating of course. Dogs very quickly get to recognize our routines and they know when certain things should be happening. This is why so many dogs will have become pretty confused in the last 12 months, because so many of us have been home more. There is no doubt that our dogs love this idea, but when we start to get back to our usual routine, it is gong to be very challenging for those dogs to get used to being alone at home again.
The result could be a stressed out pooch and that can result in them causing mayhem at home. Animal welfare experts like Roger Wolfson have been discussing this risk lately, and here is what owners can do to minimize the stress on the dog.
Instead of waiting for this to become a problem it is a good idea to start now and get ahead of the curve with this. The key here is to teach your dog how to be happy and relaxed on their own, and to do this you can simply leave them in a room by themselves, even as your are in the home. Now to do this properly you should be looking at leaving the pet alone for an hour at a time, and then gradually build that time up. An hour a day for one week, then two for another week and so on. This will help the dog greatly and it is important that you stay disciplined and don’t open the door until the time is up.
Most experts suggest that the dog becomes most anxious in the first 30 minutes after the owners leaving, so this will be a crucial time to keep your dog busy. The perfect solution to this is one of those great chew toys which you put treats inside. If you have not seen these then they are conical toys which you fill up with treats, then, as the dog plays with the toy, the treats fall out one by one, encouraging your pooch to keep on chewing. This is a great tool for keeping them occupied during the first 30 minutes.
Making it Normal
Whilst you may want to say hello to your dog and give them some cuddles when you first get home, it is important that you avoid this for at least the first 15 or 20 minutes after arriving. The reason for this is that if you shower love on the dog then they will be anxiously waiting for you to get home, so that they can get cuddles. You have to normalize coming and going and not turn it into an event which the dog is going to get excited about.
This is how you can support your dog with separation anxiety.
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