Returning To Normal
Since the pandemic started many of us have had to spend more time at home, due to isolating or working from home. Dogs across the nation have been delighted to spend all day with their owners, interrupting zoom calls, helping their owners stay fit with daily walkies and being a comfort to their owners in an uncertain time.
Now that restrictions have been eased and life returning to "normal" dogs are inevitably having to adapt back to life with less time with their owners. Cases of separation anxiety have increased due to this but here are some handy tips and tricks to help your dog settle back into some independence and ease their anxiety.
Walking is great for for physical exercise but also mental exercise for your dog. Allowing them to sniff, working on polite lead manners and spending quality time outside with their owner relieves stress and can help tire dogs out reduce energy levels. If you can try to walk dogs before you leave the house. Extra bonus points for swimming and running!
You can begin creating independence while your at home by using kongs and chews while you watch TV or are sat at your desk. Begin close to you and day by day move it slightly further away.
Provide a comfortable and safe place for your dog while you are away. Crate training can be a blessing for dogs who are likely to get up to mischief such as chewing or destroying furniture due to separation anxiety. Ensure that they are free from distractions which are likely to trigger them, such as windows facing roads, gardens where critters may appear.
Making meal times a little more interesting can help elevate stress levels.
Some fun things to do are using slow feeders and puzzle toys to allow your dog to use their brain to sniff out treats and work our how to get them.
Chewing and licking is a stress reliever for some dogs, take a look at Good Dogs Shop of our range of slow feeders, chew and puzzle toys.
Make sure your dog has been allowed to potty before you leave to reduce the risk of any accidents. You should always do this before you leave your dog for any amount of time.
Get your dog engaged in a chew toy or puzzle before you leave briefly.
Try not to make a fuss and leave. This is to allow your dog to recognise that its not scary when you leave and that its not something to be anxious about.
At first leave the room for a short time, start slow and work within your dogs limits.
When you re-enter try not to make a fuss and encourage calm behaviour. You want a relaxed and calm atmosphere when you leave and return.
Gradually build this time minute by minute over the next for weeks.
Ensure you keep an eye out for any signs of stress and reduce the time if you start to notice any anxiety returning and begin to increase slowly again.