Many of us have been working from home for more than a year now as a result of the pandemic – and our dogs have loved every minute of it. Instead of being left on their own while we go to work, they’ve had us at home all day long. Chances are they’ve enjoyed more walks too, as there wasn’t much else that we were allowed to do. So while you might be looking forward to going back to your office or workplace, seeing your colleagues and enjoying some social interaction that’s not on a Zoom screen, it won’t be nearly as much fun for your dog.
Routines have changed
Your dog’s routine will have changed in many different ways. Their mealtimes may have changed, with a later breakfast and earlier evening meal because you haven’t had to commute. They won’t have been left alone very often because you haven’t been able to go out much. Even their toilet routine will have become easier, because they will have been able to get out in the garden whenever they want, instead of holding on for your return.
Changing back to how things were after so long will be a challenge for your dog, and you need to handle it carefully. If your dog is a new lockdown acquisition, then this will be even harder for them, as they have never known you to be absent for long periods. Either way, it is important to plan ahead and ease them into your new routine.
Anxiety is only natural
If you suddenly return to work, leaving your dog alone for hours on end, then they will naturally become anxious. This can manifest as destructive behaviour, barking issues or even soiling, especially if your dog suffers from separation anxiety. If this happens, it is important not to be angry with your dog, or to punish them if they have wrecked the place or made a mess. This will only make them more anxious next time you leave as they anticipate your bad mood when you return.
Weaning your dog
To reduce this anxiety, you need to gradually wean your dog off you always being there. As soon as you get a date for your return to work, you should start to introduce changes in small steps. Leave your dog in another room while you work or leave them in the house while you go out for short periods. By gradually increasing this time on their own, they will get used to the idea and leaving them all day will be less of a shock.
Get some help
If you can’t get home during the day, try asking a friend or neighbour to pop round to see your dog. A little attention and a toilet break can make a world of difference. Alternatively, you can enrol your four-legged friend in a doggie day care centre, such as the Lancaster doggie day care centre at A&T Trained dogs.
A doggie day care centre helps by replacing the attention you’ve been giving your dog with the attention of fully trained doggie day care centre staff. Instead of stressing out on their own, your dog will get to play and socialise with other dogs. Best of all, they will return home tired and happy – just like you will be after a long day at work. Instead of jumping up and down demanding the attention they have missed, the two of you will be in perfect sync and ready to relax together through the evening.
To find out more about the A&T doggie day care centre near Lancaster, and how it can help you and your dog transition back to work, visit our website or call our friendly team on 01524 587315