WILL YOUR DOG COPE WHEN YOU GO BACK TO WORK?
Your dog is no doubt loving having you at home all the time. But what happens when you return to work?
Your dog may adjust back to your old normal routine without a problem, but there is a chance he won’t.
Dogs love having us around, they rely on us for comfort, security and play and with many of us confined to our homes, our dogs have got used to us being there. It may be a shock that your dog will struggle to cope with when we return to work.
Separation distress can cause a dog to damage sofas, doorways and windows frames in their attempts to re-establish contact with us. Your dog may bark and howl leading neighbour complaints; he may soil in the house and be unable to eat or drink; some dogs self-harm.
The good news is we can start to prepare our dogs now so that when we do go back to work your dog will accept and cope with the change without issue. There are several steps is this process. Please make sure you complete all of them even if your dog shows no signs of distress.
Step One – ‘Pre-departure Cues’
The objective of this exercise is to make your departure preparations of no consequence to your dog.
- Write down all the things you do when you prepare to leave the house to go to work. These may include: Applying makeup, putting on a tie, packing a bag or briefcase, putting on shoes, jackets etc, picking up car keys, checking the back door is locked etc.
- Now, start to get ready as though you were going to work. If, at any point, your dog starts to show signs of anxiety do something you would never do if you were going to work, e.g., sit down and read a book, empty the dishwasher, do some hoovering – it doesn’t matter what it is but do it until your dog relaxes again.
- Wait for a while then start again from the beginning.