5 tips to reduce your dog’s anxiety as we ease out of lockdown

The 26th of June would ordinarily be “Take Your Dog To Work Day.”  For many of us, we have been doing that for the last few months as the lockdown has resulted in some of us  working from home or simply at home with our pups. Our dogs have enjoyed all the extra fuss and attention, more frequent treats and just being with their owners more.  But as lockdown restrictions ease and some of us are returning to our places of work we find that in many circumstances our dogs have to adjust to being home alone again. 

With their new found isolation at home, many pet owners may find that their dogs are no longer behaving in the same way.  Their anxiety at being separated from their owners can result in more destructive behaviors (such as chewing household items while you are out), increased barking or whining while you are gone, or more hyperactive behavior. For those people who acquired a puppy just prior to the lockdown, this is the only type of lifestyle that they know.  So experts recommend gently easing your dog or puppy into adapting to life without you constantly at home. 

Tip 1

In an article from the BBC, Dr Chris Muldoon, recommends that people “pretend” to go to work by dressing in work clothes and leaving the house for short periods of time to get the dog used to this scenario.

Tip 2

Reinforce good behavior with extra attention and try not to over react if your dog is barking a lot.

It’s not just at home that dogs are likely to experience anxiety. For some dog owners, it has been a long time since their dog has travelled in a car and they could see some anxiety related to this too.  The following are suggestions that may help reduce this type of anxiety in your dog.

Tip 3

Give your dog a secure place to ride in the vehicle where he can be comfortable and knows that you are around too.  We recommend a Travall Guard, which gives that exact scenario and has a perfect, rattle-free fit, that can help reduce further anxiety.

Tip 4

Get your dog used to getting in and out of the car again. Initially you don’t need to drive anywhere, but then take him on short journeys so he gets more and more used to being in the car.

Tip 5

If your dog continues to respond poorly to trips in the car, talk to your veterinarian who can recommend anti-anxiety medication appropriate for your dog’s particular situation.