At Paws 4 walkies we hope that you are coping during these difficult times and wanted to give advice regarding how you can help your dog before you return to work following lockdown.
Your dog may have got used to you being at home more or perhaps had a change of routine even if you have continued to work. It is important that you introduce a change gradually to avoid problems such as separation anxiety. Here’s a few tips to avoid having a stressed out pooch when you can no longer be there as much as during previous weeks and months.
Gradually change your dog’s routine back to how it was before lockdown before you have to return to work. Consider time of day, length, location and frequency of walks, This will avoid any anxiety when the routine is switched suddenly.
Your dog may have got used to you being around more and receiving more attention that normal and to just suddenly then leave your dog and return to work may leave your dog to feel abandoned. Gradually decrease the amount of time you spend with your dog and increase the amount of time they spend on their own, perhaps leaving them in a different room with a chew or toys.
Aim to keep the time that you spend with your dog as close to the normal time you would be with him/her when your routine returns to how it was before lockdown. It may be a good idea to leave the house without them so they get used to being alone again.
If you plan to have someone else walk your dog when you return to work, help your dog to get reacquainted with this person before you return to work and make yourself available at home in case there are any issues.
Dr Samantha Gaines, Dog Welfare Expert for the RSPCA states
“Always introduce changes gradually and in a positive way, using only positive, reward-based training. And if you have any concerns about how your dog will cope, it is always best to seek advice from a qualified behaviourist who can support you throughout the changes.”
Paws 4 walkies hope that the transition back to work is a smooth one for yourself and your furry friend!