Managing Separation Anxiety in Your Dog

dog waiting at window

As COVID-19 restrictions lift throughout the country, many people will soon be trading in their sweatpants for slacks and heading back into the office. But remember, us two-legged folks aren’t the only ones who would rather keep working from home.

Over the past few months, many dogs have become used to their parents being home all day. With so many workers now going back to the office, it’s not uncommon for dogs to be confused and anxious or begin acting out.

Alleviating Separation Anxiety in Dogs

"After more than a year of working from home, without meaning to, we've gotten our pups dependent on having us by their side all day long. Now, leaving them alone may cause stress for both the dog and the pet parent," said Erin Askeland, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, Camp Bow Wow's animal health and behavior consultant. "It's important to understand what causes separation anxiety in dogs and how to tell if your dog has separation anxiety before trying to correct it."

Fortunately, relatively small changes to your routine and lifestyle can help your dog live a happier, healthier, and ultimately less stressful life.

Build up to longer periods of separation.

We understand that pet parents want to spend as much time as possible with their pup before going back into the office full time, but that can actually lead to more confusion. Instead of suddenly leaving home for eight or more hours a day, start off small — practice short periods of separation by leaving the house for a quick errand or walk around the neighborhood.

Make physical exercise a priority.

Whether in the form of a long walk, fun game, or training session, make sure your dog has time to release some energy before you leave for this day. A well-exercised dog is less likely to experience separation anxiety.

Consider enrolling your dog in daycare.

Some dogs, especially puppies, need physical and mental stimulation throughout the day. If you’re not able to run and play with them on your lunch break anymore, leave it to Camp Bow Wow to ensure your pup is making the most of their day. In addition to day care, many Camps also offer reward-based, affordable dog training with certified dog trainers.

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