Most of our daily lives have been interrupted drastically as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, creating new routines and a new sense of “normal” for us. While this may have been difficult for some of us to adjust to, it’s equally as important to think about how it’s affected our pets. A lot of pets love the extra company, even though they’re not used to having you around all the time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it won’t last forever, and your dog needs to be prepared for when the time comes that you return to your normal schedule. As stay-at-home orders are lifting across the country, and the plan for Massachusetts to reopen has been announced, it’s time to start getting your pet used to you not being around 24/7. Here are some tips that you can follow for the adjustment period.
Take Time Apart
Beginning to decrease the time that you’re spending with your dog is crucial before you have to return to your schedule completely. You can start with small increments, even of 15 or 20 minutes. Working in these intervals will get your dog comfortable being alone again, while you reinforce the idea to him that you’ll be coming back. This is especially important for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety. Additionally, you’ll want to cut back on being overly affectionate with your dog, so they don’t become dependent on you.
Provide Your Dog With Distractions
When you do leave your dog, even if it’s just for short periods of time at first, you’ll want to make sure he’s not bored. Boredom combined with separation anxiety can be a disaster for any dog. If you leave your dog with chew toys or puzzle toys, this will typically keep them occupied while they’re alone.
This is especially important if you adopted or bought a new puppy during the quarantine. Getting him used to being in the crate, for however long he will be once you return to normal life, is essential. Just like with the alone time, you can easy into it. If you’re going to be returning to 8 hour work days soon, start off by training him for a few hours a day in the crate. You can then work your way up to full 8 hour days with him.
Sign up for Dog Training & Structured Daycare Programs
If you’ll be returning to your normal routine soon and are worried about how your pet will adjust, it may be helpful to bring in a professional trainer. At Argos Dog Training, we offer structured daycare programs that will keep your dog occupied while you’re at work, and also give him the opportunity to learn important new skills and commands. Interested in learning more? Get in contact with us today! Fill out an online form or give us a call at 617-302-7467 to set up a consultation and we’ll help determine the best solution for your dog!