If you didn’t know, dogs can get anxiety too! Especially after being left alone for the first time in months!
First lets talk about some warning signs that your dog is having separation anxiety:
– barking, howling, or whining when the owner is away
– panting and pacing
– excessive drooling
– destructive behavior like digging at the carpet, scratching around door frames, and destroying furniture
– peeing and pooping in the house
– vomiting and diarrhea
Start acting like you’re back to work. That means going in your home office or bedroom and closing the door so that your dog isn’t with you. If you would typically crate your dog while at work, do so. Also start leaving the house for longer and longer periods of time.
Make entrances and exits non-events
Most dogs are alert to the sounds that mean someone is leaving the house. Things like putting your shoes on, grabbing your keys, the tone of voice you use when saying goodbye, etc. If your dog responds to you putting your shoes on, do it multiple times each day without actually leaving. Also ignore your dog for about 5 minutes after you arrive home in order to let them settle down.
Crate train your dog
This sets up everyone to win as the dog feels comfortable and safe in their crate through the training.
As you go back to work
Take your dog on a long walk before leaving. A tired dog is often a calm dog. You can also play some low level sounds like soothing music or a TV on in the background.