Will your dog cope home alone post Covid-19 Crisis?
Dogs are very routine oriented and as a result of the Covid Crisis their routine changed, in that their owners were available to them 24/7. Dogs are very adept at forecasting what their day will consist of, and part of that day means they are normally sometimes home alone. To help your dog deal with this change it is important to try and replicate a home alone scenario, as when normality has returned they may not cope well and become anxious at your absence. This is known as Separation Anxiety (SA).
SA comes in the form of pacing, which promotes eliminating in the house, vocalising to call you back, scratching at doorways and windows in order to follow you, salivating with the stress and chewing something up to release your scent. All or any of these behaviours can occur.
Exercise your dog before you leave and give a stuffed KONG or lasting chew.
Make exits and entrances calm and matter of fact.
Leave an owner scented article in their bed, one that came out of the laundry basket is excellent.
Turn on the TV or radio to classical music to filter out outside noises, which could indicate your return.
Turn the phone off as they know you always answer it.
Go to another room or to the garden, a couple of times a day, leaving your dog on their own for periods of time.
Don’t let your dog become too clingy so, offer affection and games at your instigation, this will promote independence.
All these helpful measures will assist your dog to acclimatise to this new regime and when normal service is resumed he will be able to cope ‘Home Alone’ once more.