Does your dog constantly whine, dig, and destroy items around the house when you’re not home? That could be because your dog is experiencing anxiety from fear of abandonment, separation and aging. Sometimes the source of anxiety comes from external environmental shocks such as loud noises, strangers, and car rides. Sometimes it can be caused by a change of guardian, change in schedule, change in residence, or change in household membership.
It’s time to go back into the office; you may be ready for some time away from home, but your pup probably is not. Whether you adopted a pandemic pup, or have enjoyed more time at home with an older dog over the past few years, it is probably very hard to leave those big bright eyes in the morning. But with a few tips and tricks, here’s how you can make the process of returning to work easier and manageable.
1. Start small to build confidence
Going from snuggling all day to being away can be a bit overwhelming for your pup. To make the process more doable, begin with small steps that your dog can work towards and help them build confidence. This can look like putting your dog in a separate room for shorter periods of time, and working your way up until they are used to the distance and time. If possible, ask your employer about returning to work in a hybrid capacity, so you can working your way back up to full time in the office.
If your dog is bored, they may have no other outlet than to bark, howl, or cry. This can be fixed super easily with some light stimulation. There are several types of stimulation toys, and you can pick one suited for your pup’s needs! For example, if your dog is food motivated, there are cones, lick mats, and other chewing toys that can keep them focused on a single snack for hours. If you have a more active dog, there are puzzle or snuffle mats that can have them searching for treats, which presents a greater challenge for your pup. These have the potential to reduce separation anxiety in dogs and provide a fun task for them!
2. Get out and exercise them
Never underestimate the power of even a short walk before you leave for the day. If possible, and if your dog is high energy, try to incorporate a longer exercise routine into your mornings, so he or she isn’t filled with a pent-up energy throughout their day.
3. Create a safe space
As a part of establishing a new routine for your pup, creating a comfortable environment can help them establish safety and relaxation with a separate space. This can include crate training, but can also be a separate area of your space that has their favorite toys, blankets, and perhaps even a different bed to let them know when it’s time for some R&R when you’re at work. Associating rewards with this space can improve relaxation around stressful times and reduce pet separation anxiety.
4. Use a Furbo Dog Camera
We may be biased, but an excellent tool for reducing separation anxiety when returning to work is a Furbo Dog Camera. Not only can you check on your dog throughout the day, but you can also communicate with them via a 2-way audio, and reassure them with your voice. If they’re on their best behavior, you can reward them with a favorite treat, tossed directly from Furbo. Use this to establish a new routine, and let your dog get a sense of your presence even when you’re not near them.