When stay-at-home orders kicked in our pets loved it… more time with their human friends! Now as parts of the country start to reopen, many people who have worked from home will slowly start heading back to the office. Some animal experts think our furry friends may need to adjust to not having us around 24/7.
I’ve already seen issues with my own dogs when I’ve left the house to run the quick errand… lots of whining, barking, and destroying of throw pillows (very annoying).
Here are some tips that I’ve started using and may help you:
Practice and desensitize
When leaving and returning home, it’s important to keep it a very neutral and low-key experience for your dog. Petting them and giving them excessive amounts of attention before leaving or when you get home will only cause them to notice your absence that much more. Grab your keys, put on your shoes and coat at various times of the day without actually leaving. Start practicing by leaving the house for very short periods of time. Be sure to keep the whole experience very low-key. Leave for 30 seconds and then return. Increase that time to 1 minute, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, etc.
Preparing your house
Leave a TV or radio on to fill the void of a now quiet house. They also may enjoy the distraction of a favorite enrichment toy and, of course, snacks.
Consider your options
If your pet is comfortable with the crate, crate training may be a good place to start to keep your pet in a comfortable environment where they won’t have access to chew up your possessions. You might consider hiring a pet sitter or taking your dog to daycare a few times per week.
Remember, this is maybe an annoyance for you, but they are truly traumatized by your absence. Be kind, have patience, and remember, with your help they will soon be back to kissing you goodbye at the door and wishing you a good day!