During this lockdown some of us have been enjoying the new normal and that is our pooches who have been able to count on people being close to them all day long. I know that my little one Shep has been absolutely loving the last few months as normally he is on his own all day long. Whilst this of course has been great for the dogs, I am worried about what he is going to be like when all of this is over and he is once again left on his own. I called the team at All Creatures Veterinary Center to get some tips on how we can ease the dogs out of lockdown, and here is what they said.
The first thing which they told me was to get started now with leaving the dog on his own, by putting him in a room for an hour or so at a time. The key is that they need to get used to being on their own once again and this is why leaving them for a while like this will be beneficial. Start offer leaving them alone for an hour, then two and then longer. In doing this we will be priming the dog to once again be on their own.
Closing and Opening
If you give dogs a grand welcome when you open the door back up, perfectly natural of course, then this is going to give your dogs something to look forward to and that is something which is certainly not going to help. .The key then is to close the door on the dog like it is nothing, and then when you open up don’t give them much attention for the first 15 minutes or so, let them calm down and then you can give them some love and affection.
In the first couple of weeks you can leave the dog at any time during the day to help them get used to being alone. After a couple of weeks however it will be important that you give your dogs a routine, a routine which is going to be similar to the routine which they can expect after the lockdown is done. If you go to work at 9 in the morning, or you will be going to work at 9 in the morning, then this is the time that you should leave the dog on their own. In doing this it is helping to create a standardized routine which is then going to greatly help your dog adjust to when you are not there.
This is not something which is going to guarantee that your dog feels comfortable being alone following lockdown, but it will certainly go some way to making sure that they are in the best possible position to deal with the change that will come once the lockdown is over and we go back to our normal lives.