Are you going back to work or school? Have you been enjoying time home with your pup during the coronavirus shutdown? Many pet parents did have the opportunity to be home with their fur babies and they got into a routine of walks, snuggles and simply being together. We have put together some thoughts and tips for how to keep your dog entertained when you go back to work.
If you were one of the thousands (perhaps more!) people who adopted pets because you were going to be home and because you wanted company during shut down, the change in routine for your pup could be jarring. A dog who is accustomed to having his person/people around all day may find themselves at loose ends when they are left home alone.
A dog who is abruptly left home alone when he’s not accustomed to it, could exhibit separation anxiety behaviors or even bad behaviors like:
- Chewing your shoes, carpet or couch
- Going to the bathroom in the house
- Barking all day
- Becoming a velcro dog when you’re home to the point that he goes into panic mode if you’re out of his sight for even a second
Keep Your Dog Entertained When You Go Back to Work
If you know that going back to work is looming large, now is the time to start getting your dog (and you!) back into a routine. Here are some ways to do just that and to help alleviate your dog’s separation anxiety.
- Start a routine. Get up. Get dressed. Feed and walk and play with your dog, then you leave the house. Get in the car and go. It doesn’t matter whether you drive down to the corner or to sit in a parking lot and drink your coffee — the idea is to get your dog accustomed to you leaving.
- Play with your pup. A tired dog is a good dog — especially when you’re not going to be home. Find time to fit in a rousing game of fetch or go for a run or whatever you and your dog love to do together.
- Give her a treat. You can buy a new toy or food puzzle or you can take some of the toys and treats she already has and put them away for a while. Bring them out when you leave. She will be so excited to think she has new toys!
- Plan for a high reward treat or toy. Another thing to try with treats and toys is to give a high reward toy or treat that your dog knows he only gets when you’re going to be away. He will come to anticipate that and it might keep him calmer.
- Leave behind something with your scent. If your dog is crate trained, put a shirt in with him that has your scent. Wear a shirt for a day, don’t wash it and leave it with your pup. Having your scent may alleviate stress because your dog will have a “piece” of you.
- Hire a dog walker or pet sitter. If you don’t want to leave your pup home alone all day, look into a pet sitter or hire a dog walker to come over and spend some time with your furbaby.
- Turn on DOGTV when you leave. We suggest having DOGTV on before you know you have to leave your dog home alone. Snuggle with your pup on the couch with DOGTV playing in the background. Your dog will come to associate the sights and sounds of DOGTV with quality time with you. DOGTV has been scientifically-designed to alleviate stress and keep your dog company when you can’t be there with him.
What did you do to help your dog get ready for your return to work? We would love to know what worked. Share your tips on our DOGTV Facebook page.
Get your FREE trial of DOGTV and work it into your routine before you have to leave your pup home alone.