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Will separation anxiety be an issue after the "Stay at Home order" is lifted?

Being left alone when your pets are used to constant human contact will need an adjustment. If your dog seems to worry when you're heading to the grocery store, Destroys stuff when you leave, follows you from room to room when you're home, barks, twirls and jumps when you come back you may be dealing with a case of separation anxiety already.

Change in your family's routine or structure, can be scary for your pet.

Some tips on how to deal with minor separation anxiety

  • Don't make a big deal when you leave or return— ignore your dog for the first few minutes then give affection.

  • Leave recently worn clothes out that smell like you.

  • Establish a word or action to use every time you leave, this signifies you'll be back.

  • Go back to the routine you did before the "stay at home" order.

  • Consider an over-the-counter calming product.

How to handle a more severe problem

  • Teach your dog the sit-stay/down-stay commands. This will help them learn that they can remain calm in one place while you go to another room.

  • Create a safe place to confine the dog loosely (a room with a window and toys)

  • Provide busy toys for distraction

  • Have dirty laundry available to lend a calming scent cue.

Short term ways to cope while your dog learns to be calm

It can take time for your dog to get used to you leaving your home more often. Here are some interim ideas.

  • Have a pet care professional do a drop in visit while you are away.

  • Take your dog to a doggie daycare facility or a pet sitters home.

  • Leave your dog with a friend, family member or neighbor when you're away.

  • Take your dog to work with you, if possible.

"You were gone all day!"

What you shouldn't do while adjusting is:

  • Punishment. that can make the situation worse.

  • Another dog. A companion usually doesn't help because their anxiety is the result of their separation from you.

  • Crating. Your dog will still engage in anxiety responses inside a crate, Instead, try a safe place as above.

  • Radio/TV noise. Won't help unless this is what your routine was before the lock down.


I am available to drop in or walk your pet to help with this adjustment.

Marlene of Care 4 Pets

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