Returning to Work After Adopting Your Pandemic Pup
Let’s be honest. The only winners during the pandemic have been dogs. Finally, they’ve gotten what they’ve always wanted: owners who are at home 24/7 and had nothing better to do but take long walks outside. But fortunately for us—and unfortunately for them—many workplaces are opening back up, and people are heading back to the 9 – 5.
This can be especially traumatizing if you purchased a puppy during the pandemic; your pooch may not take too well to this transition and could suffer from separation anxiety.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is emotional distress triggered by the absence of a guardian. It can manifest in destructive behavior, accidents, desperate escape attempts, whining and barking, pacing, drooling, and, in extreme cases, hurting themselves.
The first step to take if your dog is exhibiting these behaviors is verify that it’s actually separa-tion anxiety. These behaviors can be caused by something else. For example, if your dog acts like this consistently, it may be caused by insufficient training, a medical issue, or your dog may just be going through a phase.
These symptoms should only appear when you’re leaving or absent. If you’re not sure, try re-cording your dog while you’re gone.
How to Prevent It
Now that you know the problem, here are some tips for dealing with your dog’s anxiety.
Dogs are very sensitive to schedule and routine, which can be a pro and a con. For example, if you have a routine before leaving, like grabbing your keys or a coat, your dog can pick up on these and begin to get upset.
Counteract your dog’s behavior by doing these things but not leaving. This will confuse the trigger for your puppy’s anxiety.
You can also make a positive association with your going away ritual. For example, give your dog a special treat every time you leave—preferably one that will take them some time to eat or chew.
Much like humans, sometimes dogs need a little help winding down. There are specially formulated CBD treats for dogs that can reduce puppy anxiety and help them relax while you’re gone.
If your dog has severe separation anxiety, some prescriptions can help. Clomipramine is an FDA-approved medication specifically for doggy separation anxiety.
Transition is challenging for everyone, and it hits dogs especially hard. Try following these tips to help ease your move from home to the office for your dog.
However, some dogs will need extra help. If you’re looking for specialized care for your puppy, look no farther than our neighbors, the Barkley Pet Hotel and Day Spa. They offer luxury pet boarding to pamper your pup while you’re away. Also, if you’re on vacation and don’t want to leave your pup, bring them along! The Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village welcomes two pets up to 15 pounds (with an additional fee). For those of you still interested in adoption, inquire at your local shelter for “meet and greet” events. Still looking for a pup? Visit a local favorite Paw Works.