BOSTON — A lot of dogs have had their owners home 24/7 for the last couple of months and for dogs with separation anxiety that has been a very good thing.
However, things are opening up now and people are going back to work.
Dr. Terri Bright, the Director of Behavior Services at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston says there are ways to help your dog cope.
“They can set up all kinds of games in the house in the for the dog," said Bright.
You can use treat-filled toys, she explained.
“Don’t give the dog any kibble but take the kibble and scatter it on the floor and hide it in paper bags so that the dog is looking for things to do in the house all their attention isn’t focused on the owner 24/7," said Bright.
Even before you go back to work, you can test your dog to see if there may be issues.
“Let’s they walk down to the mailbox and they come back and their dog is drooling and beating on their door with their paws then they need to get their dog used to doing something in their house when they are not there,” said Bright.
If that happens, Bright said it is best to start giving your dog some time apart now to ease them into it.
“I don’t think that giving your dog attention is the wrong thing but I think that the dog owner needs to recognize if your dog owner has a history of separation anxiety then that anxiety is going to return when they go back to work," said Bright.
If you have the ability to set up a camera to watch your dog for a period of time while your gone, give them something to keep them occupied then watch to see if they still engage in any destructive or concerning behavior. If that happens, you may need to see a behaviorist.
Bright said that separation anxiety is one of the most common reasons why pet owners get professional behavioral help, second to aggression.
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