Are you a little worried about leaving your pup alone while you return to the office? You are not alone. According to a national poll, 58% of pet parents are concerned about their dog experiencing separation anxiety.
Thankfully there are steps pet parents can take to help with the adjustment. The most important is to give you pet their “alone time” each day, so when you leave home, it doesn’t seem like a shock. Below is our Top-10 list of helpful ideas to help avoid confusion, whining, barking, accidents, or other destructive behavior.
- Reintroduce Their Crate. If your dog was crate trained, this is a good time to re-start crating for short intervals during the day. Be sure to give lots of praise and treats when they willingly enter the crate on their own.
2. Puppy-proof your house (Again). Whether your dog is 10 weeks old or 10 years old, their behavior could regress. Close off rooms they could find trouble, remove shoes, furniture, and other objects they could destroy.
3. Wake Up Earlier to Spend Time With Your Pup. Give yourself extra time in the morning to walk your dog, play fetch in the yard, tug-of-war, or another fun activity to burn off energy. If they spend that energy with you, they are less likely to use it in destructive ways when you are away.
4. Create a Zen Environment. A calm environment encourages calm behavior. We are big fans of playing soothing music, consider a pheromone collar or electric diffuser that plugs into an outlet. We also recommend leaving on the television as if the pet parents were home.
5. Try a Bolster Bed. Bolster beds look like donut-shaped beds and help calm anxious dogs down by mimicking their natural nesting behavior. Similar to a swaddle for newborns, the high sides help the dog feel safe and relaxed.
6. Surround Your Pup With Comfort. Make sure that while you are away, your dog has all of their favorite chew toys. Also, leaving an article of clothing, such as a worn T-shirt in the dog’s crate or throughout the house is another way to help him feel more comfortable.
7. Technology. While cameras are great for your peace of mind, there are cool cameras that allow you to check in on your furry family member and even speak to your dog, which can be calming and provide reassurance. The Furbo dog camera will even allow you to toss treats to your dog through their app!
8. Kongs. One of our time-tested favorites is the Kong Bone stuffed with dried liver treats. The original Kong toy filled with yummy frozen peanut butter is a fan favorite too. Rotate different types of food dispensing toys to prevent boredom.
9. Puzzle Toys. Try engaging puzzle toys filled with treats for a mental challenge. It’s a good idea to use these toys when your pup is only left home alone, so your dog associates their “alone time” with a tasty reward.
10. Schedule The Peaks Pet Nanny for dependable Dog Walking. No matter what, dogs will benefit from playtime, enrichment, exercise, and companionship – they all crave and require. If possible, start a few days before you return to the office, so your pup and their Pet Nanny can become reacclimated to their dog walks. Many pet parents have continued to use their Pet Nanny while working from home to keep their pets happy and on a routine.
By Gina Brugna