2020 may not have been the best year for humans. Dogs, on the other hand, have enjoyed it. Plus, with a record number of dog adoptions during the pandemic, there are now more doggy parents than ever.
Spending all the time with their beloved owners has made it a part of their everyday lives now. Most dogs will think that this lifestyle will continue forever, so when it comes time to switch back to your pre-pandemic life, it may be quite a shock for them.
This is a monumental change, which can lead to separation anxiety or your dog acting out. For some, adjusting to a new way of life won’t be a simple task, but with the right preparation, it can be done.
To help you make the transition easier for them, here are some stress-relieving tips and handy information.
How to prepare your dog for your absence
It will be tough for your dog to go back to the way life was pre-pandemic. Do not underestimate your dog’s ability to sense changes in your patterns.
They’re very familiar with everything you do and are sensitive to these changes and will react accordingly. So, when you begin to reinforce the pre-pandemic times again, it’s best to introduce these changes slowly.
To help your dog handle your absence for longer periods, you can condition them by leaving the house (or being in a separate space) more frequently and increase the duration gradually. This will help re-establish your old ritual.
If mealtimes and sleep schedules have changed over the past year. You should start to readjust to your pre-pandemic hours by waking up and feeding them the way you used to or the way it will be when you go back to the office.
Playtimes and walks have also seen a dramatic change. Make sure you align these with your work-week schedules so that your dog is not confused when you start making changes.
Do not underestimate your dog’s ability to sense changes in your patterns.
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What if the office needs me back immediately?
If you don’t have a couple of weeks to establish these habits again, do your best in regard to your pets. Dogs can get anxious while adjusting to a new routine so let them know it is okay. Be patient and tolerant the first few days, and then (hopefully) they will start understanding.
For older dogs, it’s easier to get used to your absence but this can be problematic for a younger dog. The routine changes will be tough at first, but then they’ll start getting a hang of them.
How to relieve your dog’s anxiety
You’ve probably heard the saying that a tired dog is a happy dog. Releasing your dog’s pent-up energy is a sure-shot way of reducing anxiety for the both of you.
Playing with them at any given point of time will help them with their anxiety. Play with them or take them on a run before getting ready for the office. They may be too tired to become anxious and will sleep most of the time while you are gone.
Chew toys or feeder toys are also a great way to reduce anxiety. Make sure your dog’s water bowl is full before you go out of the house. You will likely be gone for 8-9 hours and they need access to water.
Some interactive puzzle toys might also be helpful but make sure the pieces aren’t too small. Small pieces can be a choking hazard especially if left unsupervised.
What if all this does not work?
You can always have a dog walker scheduled for a visit, and they will take your dog out for some playtime. A long walk during the time you are gone will also help your pet relax. Days at dog care or dog parks are also a great way to reduce stress.
It is important to know all dogs have different personalities, and they will respond differently to different things. This means that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for them.
Try out different things and see what works for them. Something will click and you will have a pooch that is ready to adapt to the new changes in no time.
If your dog’s anxiety doesn’t get better, don’t be afraid to call in an expert. Experienced trainers will help you in reducing your dog’s anxiety and how you can make your pooch more comfortable.
You can also ask your veterinarian for ideas. They have a full background on your dog and may know of something specific that could help. This could include a thunder jacket, CDB oil, or switching from a crate to a playpen.
Dogs have an undying love for their owners, which is why they want to be with or near them at all times. Adjusting may be difficult at first, but, with the right conditioning, you can help make it easier for them.
At Quotacy, we understand the importance of being there for your loved ones, even when you can’t. This is why life insurance is so important.
If they rely on your income, a life insurance policy will give them the financial support they need and save them from leaving behind the future you’re helping them shape today.
Ready to see what you’d pay for life insurance? Start with a free quote today.
Not sure how much life insurance you need? Check out our free life insurance needs calculator.
Note: Life insurance quotes used in this article accurate as of July 21, 2020. These are only estimates and your life insurance costs may be higher or lower.
About the writer
Director of Creative Strategy
Greg is Quotacy’s Director of Creative Strategy. He has an eclectic past from working on movie scripts to creating ad campaigns for major brands. His love of creative solutions drove him to strategy, and he now uses his powers to help families protect their loved ones. Outside of work, Greg spends his time off the grid hunting, fishing, camping, biking, hiking, and walking his dogs.