A lot of us are heading back to work and there have been a number of articles in the news about the potential for our dogs suffering separation anxiety.
What is less obvious is that YOU will also miss the extra time you and your family have been having with your dog. We take for granted their loyalty and love but through these difficult times they have been a constant reassurance.
- So what are the signs YOU are missing your dog?
- Leaving for work and picking up the dog lead on the way to the door.
- Loading the dog into the car before you set off for work.
- Popping some poo bags into your work bag.
- Filling a bowl of water when you are preparing your lunch in the office kitchen.
- And perhaps the most serious sign – offering your work colleagues a dog biscuit when they “SIT!” in a meeting with you.
Joking aside, what can you do to minimise your dog’s anxieties? Here are three easy steps.
Pretend to go to work – Get your work clothes on and pick up the car keys, leaving for short periods. Try this at different times and be out for different lengths of time, slowing extending the length of time you are out.
When you return home do not make a fuss of your dog – wait until your dog settles and then offer lots of praise.
Be patient and don’t react – if you are anxious your dog will be anxious.
When you return to work it may be beneficial to get a neighbour to visit your dog a couple of times a day, letting them out into the garden.
With luck your household may have a staggered return to work and school. This will help. If you are very lucky your employer could ask you to work from home permanently. Think of all the fun you could have with your dog!
The most important thing to do is to continue to enjoy extra time with your dog. If you and your family have been walking the dog continue doing this after lockdown. Not only does your dog love the extra attention – both you and your family with be fitter both mentally and physically.