Many of us pet owners have been enjoying the extra time we have been able to spend at home with our animals.
This pandemic has kept us all at home, and this has been a time to rediscover what is truly important to us. One of these things is, of course, our pets. Our furry littles truly reaped the benefits of having us at home for all these extra hours! More playtime, more walks, and potentially more food. It has been great!
However, part of being a responsible dog owner means preparing them for what comes next. Our dogs may have got used to us being at home, but when we go back to work, school, or college – who will be there to look after them then? Inevitably, they will be left feeling confused by this sudden departure.
In some cases, separation anxiety can occur. This can cause our dogs’ distress and lead them to engage in destructive behavior when we are out of the house. Separation anxiety symptoms can include urinating and defecating in new places, escaping, digging, barking, pacing, and chewing.
To help alleviate any stress or anxiety that might occur soon, we at VIP Pets have compiled this handy blog to reintroduce your dogs back to their normal routine. They will thank you for it in the long run!
Start their routine again
Before COVID-19, we all had a routine. That includes our four-legged friends! Dogs are truly creatures of habit, which means they need a routine. If your routine has been lacking in the last few months, now is the perfect time to restart it. Ensure your dog is getting lots of play, rest, and exercise throughout the day. They should have some alone time too so that they can begin to adjust to the inevitable quickly.
They need their beauty sleep
News flash – dogs sleep a LOT. When we aren’t home to play with them, they tend to spend a vast portion of their day snoozing. In fact, dogs sleep for an average of 10-14 hours a day, and puppies sleep even more than that. It’s important to ensure they are getting enough sleep so that they can maintain their normal activity levels when you go back to work.
Stop walking them SO much
Different breeds require different levels of exercise. Some require more playtime than long strolls through the park again and again. If you are going on multiple walks a day to alleviate boredom, now is the time to start reducing them back to the old levels. Dogs will have become used to their new activity levels and need to be reintroduced to the ones from before so that they aren’t restless when left home alone!
Have some time apart
This is actually really important. In order to reduce any anxiety that might occur when you do go to work, you need to start spending some time apart from your dog. Try leaving them outside for longer periods during the day, so that they aren’t constantly around you, or simply work in another room away from your pet.
Practice some training again
Has lockdown left you slack on discipline? Does your dog know a heel from a fetch? Reintroduce basic commands with your dog, so that you still have that element of control with them. Again, this will pay off in the long run.
We hope these tips have been helpful for you as life slowly begins to return to normal!
Remember that VIP Pets is here to help both you and your pet adjust to the new normal. We are fully licensed and bonded and would love to spend some time with your pet! We serve the Dallas and Austin areas, so don’t miss out!