A calm return to normal
After several months locked up with us, followed by summer vacation, our canines spent most of their time accompanied, to their delight! Did you feel alone locked in your home doing nothing except taking steps from time to time? Welcome to the wonderful world of being a dog!
It's a sad fact, but the majority of our dogs lives boil down to being alone at home doing nothing. Between being locked in a house by yourself or being locked in a house with your best friend (that's you!), The very VERY vast majority of dogs will choose to be with you! And you too by the way, that's why we are seeing the demand for puppies exploding right now! It is therefore normal that the return to work is particularly difficult for them. It means going back to their daily life alone and for many dogs who have gotten used to have us around them all the time, it is a huge stress to see us leave 45 hours a week on average.
In this article, we'll give you some quick tips to make returning to work easier, but this article is not for dogs with separation anxiety! If you think your dog is suffering from anxiety when you leave, contact us and we will direct you to the right resources.
#1 Gradual return to work or gradual departures
If you are lucky enough to be able to return to work gradually, the change in routine will be gradual and it will be much less of a shock for you. If a gradual return to work is not an option, start leaving him alone for one or two days a week now. Go for a walk outside without him, go see family without him, do one or two activities a week without your dog.
We would certainly like to take advantage of the time we have with them, but unfortunately your daily life "after Covid", probably will not look like this. You will not be able to bring your dog to work and he will be left home alone. It is therefore best for your dog to learn or relearn him to be alone gradually. The shock will be less and your doggy will feel a lot less stress if the return is done gradually.
#2 Create a safe and stimulating environment
It was already boring being locked up in our homes alone. Now imagine being alone in your house with no books, no TV, no computer, no phone, no board games, etc. What is the first emotion that comes to your mind? Boredom, frustration, anxiety? So we understand each other! Doggy would rather be with you, but also do the best with what we have.
Try setting them puzzles with their food inside, nibbles and toys for fun. It is also important that the dog is in a safe space. If your puppy is still in his wonderful phase of putting everything in his mouth (like electric wires…) or your teenager is happy to throw everything in the air when you leave, try to make his environment safe. If he likes his crate, you can leave him in the crate with all of his toys and blankets to make it comfortable. Otherwise, you can buy yourself an enclosure and set everything up there. If you feel uneasy leash restricting your dog's space, be sure to make your home safe for your puppy.
#3 Create pleasant moments during your absences
Can you send your dog to doggy day care a few days a week or hire a dog walker to take him out at lunchtime? Go for it! As we discussed at the beginning of the article, it's no more interesting for your dogs than it is for you to be stuck in your house alone. If you are lucky enough to have him babysat by a professional or a family member or find someone to stretch his legs when you are away, this is a great idea for physical health, but also for mental health (and therefore to reduce bad behavior!) If you don't work too far from home, you can even spend a few dinners a week with him.