Dogs are very sociable animals, and most of them thrive on regular human interaction and the company of other dogs. Over the past 16 months, many dogs will have come to enjoy even more attention from their owners, as many people worked from home and curtailed their social lives.
If your dog has been used to having you or other household members around for most of the time, but now you are starting to return to your workplace and resume other activities, it is important to prepare your pet for the change of routine. Most dogs prefer a predictable life, and find change stressful. Here are some tips to help them adjust.
Practice leaving them for fairly short periods first
If your dog is used to being with people all the time, start by leaving them alone for an hour or two. Provide them with chew toys in case they get bored or anxious, and are prone to chewing furniture. If you have never left your dog before, try shutting them in a separate room for periods of time first.
Don’t make a big deal
Your dog can easily pick up on your mood and emotions, so try to be brisk and business-like when leaving the house, to avoid making them feel anxious. Similarly, don’t make a huge fuss of them when you return, as this will lead them to anticipate your arrival and become over-excited.
Stick to the same meal and walk times
If you need to feed and walk your dog at different hours on days when you will be at the office, gradually get them used to the new hours before you return, so it isn’t a big shock to their system. Dogs can become distressed if their dinner or usual walk doesn’t emerge at a familiar time.
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