Curtail Separation Anxiety For Dogs After COVID-19: Right now, it doesn’t look like these troubles will be coming to an end anytime soon, but like every other thing, this will end. Lock-down will be lifted, social distancing will no longer be a big deal, and we will all return to work.
While asking questions like Can dogs get COVID-19? We also ask questions like, how will our dogs cope when the pandemic is finally over? It will be a big celebration for billions of humans, what about our furry friends who have gotten used to us being at home?
Animal psychologist Dr Roger Mugford says dog parents or guardians should start preparing their pets to get accustomed to a post-COVID-19 world.
“With such an overload of quality time with their families, dogs are building up a huge reservoir of over-dependency which could see them suffer when mums and dads suddenly return to work, and the children go back to school,” Dr. Mugford told The Times.
Renowned for training Queen Elizabeth’s Corgis, Mugford advises owners to introduce a short period of isolation. This will do a lot of good for both young dogs and those adopted during this pandemic.
Helping Your Dog Cope With Separation Anxiety After COVID-19
Dogs are social animals (at least to their owners always), teaching them to isolate is not always easy. In normal conditions, you shouldn’t leave your dog for more than four to six hours and two hours at most for young puppies or older seniors, to deal with the topic in discussion, you should help them get used to spending short periods alone.
CDC answered the question, “can dogs get coronavirus.” More on that here.
To do this, you simply have to make them understand that being alone is not a punishment but fun. If you can get your dog to enjoy its alone time, they will seldom experience separation anxiety after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Curtail Separation Anxiety For Dogs After COVID-19: Prepare A Comfortable, Safe Area
Firstly, you should choose an area of your home where your dog will be both safe and comfortable when you leave. Using a dog crate is a prevalent practice, if you prefer this too, make sure it is big enough for your dog to stand up to its full height and do a full turn.
Other places like your laundry rooms, bathrooms, and utility rooms will do just fine. With a baby gate, you can block off your kitchen and sun-room. Most trainers recommend the baby gates. Through them, your dog can hear, smell, and see you during the early training stages.
After picking your dog’s new area, personalize it with your dog’s bed, water bowl, safe toys, and chewing options. Playing soft music while away is a method most people apply. Some provide a piece of clothing with their smell to help starve off separation anxiety.
Train Your Dog To Tolerate Alone Time
While still at home, teach your dog how to stay alone by placing him in its future isolation center throughout the day. These sessions should last for a few minutes, especially when dealing with a dog, learning to be alone for the first time. Provide your dog a highly desirable chewy or treat toy; this teaches your dog that isolation isn’t that bad.
Make sure your dog has access to its item while in it’s isolation area!
After a few minutes, open the gate or door. Hopefully, she may choose to stay put and enjoy its space, or they may decide to leave.
Keep this process continued for several days, gradually increasing the time it has to stay alone for a while. When your dog can be on its own for up to 30 minutes, you can start leaving your house.
Most dogs need more time to adjust, so patience is the key. Slowly increase the time you spend away from the dog. Place it in the garden for a few minutes, then take short trips to a store, etc.
How Has COVID-19 Affected Separation Anxiety In Dogs?
We are dealing with something different. Even if your dog has spent time at home alone, this pandemic has changed the game. Your dog has gotten used to you always being around and the anxiety you have shown during this epidemic. You might have lost a friend, loved one, or acquaintance with the virus. Working from home, homeschooling, etc. are also factors that bring out the anxiety.
Your dogs are a whole more sensitive than you know. They sense our tension and often take it on their shoulders. Pups share our pain, joy, excitement, and stress.
What Can You Do To Help?
If you notice your dog experiencing more stress than you, consider going back to the basics. James Summey, the owner of JTS Dog Training in Sacramento, CA, insists you brush up on basic training to remind your dog you are in control and to help them feel safe.
Consistency is key in so many things, including dealing with your pets. If you typically take your dog for a morning and evening walk, maintain that routine. It will help reduce the amount of chaos stemmed from the current situation.
Check out this article for more tips on taking care of your dog during the Covid-19 pandemic.
No matter how we try, most dogs are going to suffer from separation anxiety after the COVID-19 dies down. If your dog can’t keep up with your isolation technique, you should get a professional trainer to help make things easy.
Your dog has helped you through your self-isolation anxiety. It is now your chance to return the favour.