Love or loathe, lockdown woes for your dogs!
We have now been in lockdown here in Wales for what feels like years. While we have all been trying to preoccupy ourselves with hobbies such as baking, fitness and more annoyingly Tiktok! Our dogs have revelled in all the extra attention but how will the imminent lift of the lockdown affect them?
Dealing with separation anxiety...
For many dogs, they will now be used to being with us all the time and this could of course cause issues when we start going to work and attempting to get into a new "normal" way of life! If your dog already had separation issues or anxiety prior to lockdown, this will be even trickier. Now being the owner of a Cocker Spaniel, I know first hand what it is like dealing with a needy breed! They are renowned for it and their Cocker "whine"!
I really recommend the calming products from Vita Canis. They are 100% natural and also suitable for other animals as well as humans!
Some things to try...
Pretend to go to work (unless you actually are going to work and then I do no condone skipping work!) Dress in your work clothes, grab your keys and leave the house. Try this at different times during the day and then extend the time you have left the house.
Don't make a fuss! When you do come back home, it is very important that you do not make a fuss or a big deal about it. Instead, wait until your dog is calm and settled and reward that behaviour.
Be patient. This is going to be a total readjustment not just for our dogs but for us too. It is important that we never shout at our dogs for displaying any unfavourable behaviour. Positive reinforcement is key. This also works with anyone who is stubborn like me too!
Kongs are a great source of distraction, filled with dog safe treats/licks and then frozen. They will provide hours of entertainment but make sure they are not just brought out for when your dog is going to be left alone. You always want them to form a positive reinforcement so giving them to your dog when you are around too is important. Snuffle mats are another great option as well, like this one from NozeyPawz.
Obviously, I am not a behavioural expert but any stretch of the imagination and I would always recommend the help of a professional if your dog is exhibitng any serious issues.