Updated: May 18, 2020
2020 has certainly been a challenging year for us all in more ways than one. We are currently in lock down with many of us working from home and having to adjust to social isolation. Many Australians have used this time as an opportunity to welcome a new family member into their homes. According to the latest research 30% more dogs have been adopted since the start of COVID-19 in Australia.
Your dog would be loving having you home all day. They have become used to all that extra attention, more treats, play time and of course a nice long walk each day. Pet owners have reported their dogs becoming calmer, less anxious and generally healthier. Eventually you will be returning to work and that poses the question of how your dog will cope once it all comes to an end.
The biggest concern for vets is that your dogs may suffer from separation anxiety, weight gain (due to not getting as much exercise) and they may start to display some destructive behaviour around the house. They will be begging for attention and this in itself could lead to your dog becoming depressed.
They will miss you terribly that's for sure so now is the time to ease them back into normality for when you have to return to work. Here are a few options to make the transition a little easier:-
Start by keeping your dog in a separate room whilst you are working,
Leave your dog at home when you go for a walk or a coffee so that they get used to seeing you leave the house without them but still returning to them.
Establish a feeding schedule of early morning and evening (same as when you are at work) and do not offer them treats during the day. The treats can be saved for when you return to work.
If possible try to stagger going back to work to get your dog used to being on their own again.
Hire the services of a dog walker.
When Doggy Daycare opens again book them in as they will love the social interaction with the other dogs.
Do try to keep your dog distracted in the first hour after you have left for work. Perhaps leave them with a new toy or hide some treats around your home. Leaving the TV on will offer some ambient noise and reduce that feeling of being on their own.
Just a few of these simple measures will certainly help your dog to adjust to life post COVID-19.