Prepare Your Dog For Your Return to Workwphungerford
While working from home duringhas been a big adjustment for most of us, our canine counterparts think they have won the lottery. They are getting more attention, longer cuddle sessions, playtime galore, and are walked almost on demand. How could it get better? But what do we do when we have to go back to the office?
How to prepare your dog for your return to work is something dog owners all over the world are trying to figure out. They are concerned about what the sudden change will do to them. Will a normally calm dog develop anxiety or behavior problems? Some owners may wonder if they should consider a dog daycare type program or a full-time dog sitter.
These are all really valid concerns and the good news is that there are ways to prepare your dog for that dreaded return to the office. We have come up with five things you can start doing right now to help prepare your pooch when you are no longer home all of the time.
5 Ways to Prepare Your Dog For Your Return to Work
These are easy and simple things that you can start today to prepare your dog. While they don’t know you are going to work and that it is essential, they will know that you are gone and that things have changed. It is best to not dump any sudden changes on your best friend which is where these five tips come in.
Start Leaving Them a Little at a Time
Anytime you are home for an extended period of time your dog immediately starts to get spoiled. They love the attention and extra time they get. With quarantines and stay at home orders pretty much worldwide, we have spent months at home except for rare and unavoidable outings.
This means that your dog really believes that this is the way life is always going to be now. So you need to break the news to them slowly by leaving them for short outings. Even if you just go for a walk alone for 10 mins at first and start building up to longer trips that will do the job.
Give Them Enrichment in Another Room
It will be helpful to give them fun enrichment toys like puzzle games with treats in them while you take your short outings. You can even just put them in another room with the toy while you work with the door shut to get them used to not being right next to you.
This will send the message that being away from you can be safe, fun, and rewarding. They will make this connection after a while and not be bothered when you leave. This is similar to what they experience at a dog boarding facility.
Reward Calm Behavior
While it is really tempting to make a big fuss when you leave with belly rubs and baby talk it really isn’t helpful. The same is true for when you come home. If you respond to your dog when they are all worked up or draw attention to the fact that you are leaving, you are actually causing a problem that may not be there.
Instead wait until your dog is calm. Get home, change your clothes, and then say hello to your dog. This may seem wrong to you but it will reward calm behavior instead of reinforcing the negative behavior.
Feed Them Away From You
Another tip to try out is to feed them in a different room. Associating delicious food with your absence will reinforce that you being gone can be a good and pleasing experience for them. The point is to get them comfortable with you not always being there and this is a great way to do that.
Get Them on a Work Routine
If you have a general idea of what your work schedule is going to be then it might be helpful to try and get your dog on that walk and feeding schedule. Take your dog for a walk before you would be leaving in the morning and then again when you would be getting home. This will reset your dog’s internal clock for when you really do start back to work.
Even with these tips if you are still concerned about leaving your dog alone or they are showing signs of anxiety then you might consider a doggy daycare. These are great options for dog owners. A quick internet search will show what is in your area but make sure you read reviews and get recommendations from dog-owning friends.
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