Going Back To Work? Here’s 5 Tips To Prepare Your Dog

Guest Post by Mike Powell | Dog Embassy

Preparing Your Dog For The End Of Lockdown

If your dog is like any other pup out there, they’ve been loving the extended time spent with you during the lockdown. While we know that life is getting back to normal, they won’t understand that you need to go back to work!

Preparing your dog for that day is important, especially if you know they’re prone to separation anxiety. Here are some easy tips to make the transition.

 

Ease Them In

Your dog is used to you being around for tummy tickles and ball-throwing. If you disappear for 9+ hours unexpectedly one day, their little heart might break!  

Remember, you can’t explain what’s happening to your pup. It’s a good idea to start taking steps to ease them into it a week or two before you’ll be starting work.

Start with 5 or 10 minutes away. Grab your keys, head out the door, and lock up behind you. You don’t have to actually go anywhere! The idea is to get your pup used to being without you and waiting for your return.

Slowly lengthen the time you’re away. Your pup will start to realize that you’re not abandoning them - you’ll be back in just a little while. That way, when you are gone for hours, they’ll be more used to it.

 

Two Yorkies in the garden | Image by Pezibear


Get Your Pup a Chew Toy

Separation anxiety can cause excessive chewing or digging. To counter this, it’s a great idea to get your pooch a hardcore chew toy or a toy that will keep them busy and distracted while you’re away. A toy that’s interactive or stuffable is awesome, as it provides some kind of purpose to the activity.

Some good choices are:

Kong toy

• PupPod

• Treat balls

Introduce your dog to their new toy a week or so before you need to go. Encourage them to play with it, and praise them when they do! The more they can associate this new toy with praise and happiness from you, the more they’ll gravitate to it when you’re away.

 

Image by Jennifer Beebe from Pixabay

 

Create “You Substitutes”

Did you know your pup’s nose is 40 times more sensitive than yours? Their sense of smell is incredible, and it’s one of the ways they interact with you (and other dogs) - they sniff.

Giving your dog something to cuddle with that smells like you can help immensely while you’re away. They’ll feel like you’re close and be comforted.

 

You can use something like:

• An old shirt

• A hat

• One of your pillows

• A shoe (if you know they won’t chew it)

Make sure the item does actually smell like you! You can’t take out an old shirt you haven’t worn in years and expect it to comfort your pup. It needs to have you all over it

Start incorporating this when you start making 10-minute “fake trips” to get your pup used to you being away. Before you leave, place the item in your dog’s bed and encourage them to sniff it. When you get back, remove it so your pup begins to associate that particular item as a sort of “you substitute”. 

 

 

 

Get a New Routine 

This one may require a bit of sacrifice! A super way of chilling your dog out and making the exit process as smooth as possible is to tire them out before you leave. 

Taking your dog on an early morning run is an effective way of 1) making them ridiculously happy, and 2) exhausting them so they don’t fuss when you leave and spend the first hour or so recovering quietly from their exercise. 

If it’s too dark/cold/early to head outdoors, have a bit of a wrestle with your pup, play some tug-o-war, or play a game of hallway-fetch for 10 minutes until your dog is sufficiently pooped. 

 

walking the dog | Image by Tom und Nicki Löschner 

 

Consider Doggie Daycare 

If you can’t get another puppy to keep your current one company while you’re away, and you’re very worried to leave them all alone, doggie daycare could be your solution. 

If your pup is well-socialized, they may prefer to spend their time away from you with friends rather than alone! 

A simple bit of Googling can find doggie daycares near you, and they’re generally fairly affordable. But then again, can we really put a price on our pups’ happiness? 

Search our Pet Directory for Day Care For Pets

 

Doggy day care | Image by safepaws  

 

Conclusion 

Going back to work may be harder on your fluff than it is on you. They’ve been around with love and cuddles the whole lockdown, so it’s only fair we make this transition as easy as possible for them! 

 

About the author: 

Mike Powell _ Dog Embassy  

Mike Powell | Dog Embassy

“Mike Powell is a dog lover since he was a kid. With his extended love for dogs, he blogs about them. He writes some guides on how to take care of your dogs. You can find more about his blog here, https://www.dogembassy.com/.”

 

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