September 12, 2020
Right now, everyone is trying to adjust to a new way of life. From wearing facemasks to washing their hands more than ever, keeping their distance, and sanitising everything. With many people slowly going back to the office, here are some tips on how to help your dog adjust to the new norm.
For many people, their dogs have helped them to cope with lockdown as they provide company and exercise, and of course the increased time with their owners has also benefited the dogs.
You can’t explain to a dog what is going on and help them to understand what COVID-19 and lockdown are, you can’t tell them why all of a sudden they have to spend more time alone, but there are ways you can help them to adjust.
Just as you would when training a puppy, you need to gradually get your dog used to you leaving them. Start by first leaving the house for just a few minutes; then each time extend it so that your pet will learn that you will come home again.
Ensure they have plenty of activities
Use Kongs or similar toys which they have to play with to release treats as these will keep your dog occupied while you’re out. They will have to occupy themselves for a long time to get the food, which will distract them while they are separated from you, and this also teaches them to entertain themselves.
Try doggy daycare
Nowadays many people put their dogs in puppy daycare just as they would put their children in a nursery. This keeps them busy, helps them to socialise and also means it’s one less day at home by themselves. You might want to put your pup in every day, but even just one day a week will mix things up for them and tire them out, so they won’t miss you so much the next day.
Take them for a good walk
Before you leave to go out, make sure you have given your dog a good walk so not only have they had a chance to go to the toilet before you leave, but you have spent some quality time with them and hopefully burned off some of their energy so that they’ll just sleep while you’re out.
Make sure your pooch is comfy
Your dog needs to have a comfy and cosy bed all of their own so that they know they have a place of their own. Encourage your dog to spend time in their bed when you are busy doing other things. If you give them a chew toy or something they like to do in there, then they will soon learn to enjoy being in their bed and not to expect attention from you just because you are there. This will help them to cope better when you’re out. You could also leave an old item of clothing that smells of you in your dog’s bed.
Leave the TV or Radio on
Many people find that their dogs are calmer if they have familiar sounds on while you are out, so if you leave soothing sounds on with the TV or radio, then this will help to settle them and not feel so alone.