The vital relationship nurtured between you and your pet during the COVID-19 crisis is likely one that neither of you ever expected to happen. With the number of people working from home, or suddenly not working at all, there has been so much more time than ever before for an owner and a pet to form a bond of reliance. This is just natural and is something that should have been pursued, especially if you were in any state of serious lockdown.
As more businesses are starting to reopen, and as more employees are finding their way back to work, a change will soon be occurring in your life and daily routine. Lockdown was hard. Staying home was difficult and you had to completely change your mind set in order to make the most out of a tough situation. While things aren’t going to be normal any time soon, the return to work and to aspects of a normal life will also require an adjustment, both for you and for the pet that has come to rely on your company for the last two months.
Separation anxiety is a problem for both humans and pets. If what was there for more 60 days in some cases suddenly goes away five days a week, then your pet is going to be sad, bored, and lonely. This is obviously not a good situation, and it’s vital to start putting in some time to get your pet’s expectations in the right place for when this happens.
Allow Kim Steffes, owner of a dog training center in Indianapolis to explain:
“Just before school starts, parents start a couple weeks beforehand, putting the kids to bed a little bit earlier. They kind of get back into that routine, so it’s not a shock when school actually starts and they have to get up early and go to bed early; That’s what people should be doing for their dogs,” Steffes explains.
Dr. Roger Mugford , a well-respected animal psychologist who has been used by the British royal family to work with the corgis of Queen Elizabeth II, agrees with this statement. “With such an overload of quality time with their families, dogs are building up a huge reservoir of over-dependency which could see them suffer when moms and dads suddenly return to work and the children go back to school,” he says.
He further adds that “When left alone, dogs can chew the house, annoy the neighbors by constantly barking, urinate and defecate inside, and sometimes even self-harm. Put a webcam on your dog and you’ll see howling and pacing and other distress signs.”
This is obviously a nightmare scenario for any dog lover to think about. Just the concept that it has been possible to love your dog too much during quarantine that it would then affect the dog’s state of wellbeing over the next few months is something that is difficult to wrap your head around, and painful to think about. Adequately preparing for this moment is vital to make any pain be minimal.
Preparation could include something as simple as crating your dog for a few hours each day while you are home working to get your pet used to the routine. It could mean taking your dog for walks only at times when you would usually be home to do so. Doing this now and stretching it out over a period of a couple of weeks, will help avoid the cold-turkey affect and maintain that vital relationship that you have forged during the crisis.
Article by Vital Guidance