While lockdown has brought its challenges for everyone, there’s one member of the household who has been reaping the benefits of having you home all the time: your dog! Our four-legged friends have been enjoying lots of extra attention, walkies, treats, cuddles, and quality time with their favourite humans. But all that is changing as the world starts to go back to work. So, here’s how to get your dog used to her new normal in the couple of weeks before your big return.
Leave the house without your dog
Start small at first – walk around the block, pop to the local shops, go for a drive – and build up to longer periods of time. This way your dog will get used to not being with you 24/7, but they’ll learn that you’ll always come back when you leave.
Try crate training
A crate should be somewhere your dog can go to feel comforted and secure. So, first of all, you should kit it out with a nice comfy bed, a favourite toy or two, and a piece of old clothing that smells like you to make the area relaxing. Then start off by putting them in the crate for naps during the day while you’re home and slowly begin to leave them in there when you go out for short periods – leading up to full workdays.
Resume potty training
If you’ve been letting your dog out whenever they want to do their business, don’t be shocked to find a little surprise waiting for you when you leave them stuck in the house all day. Gradually cut down on breaks and re-train them to go at specific times by eventually only letting them out in the morning before you’d usually go to work and then again when you would come home.
Reinstate old rituals
Because we can’t simply tell our dog “Mummy has to go back to work now”, we need to show them with our routine. Perhaps you used to get up every day at 6am, feed your dog, have breakfast, walk your dog, take a shower, and then leave at 8 o’clock. Now’s the time to start doing that again. Of course, you won’t actually be going into work just yet, but leaving at the same time every day and then coming home (even 10 minutes later) will help get your dog back into the old swing of things. The same goes for the evening with dinner and bedtime too.
Give less attention
We know you love your pup and it’s hard not to give them all the love in the world all day long, but gradually paying them less attention (particularly during work hours) before you go back will help prevent separation anxiety disorder. Of course, don’t completely ignore them – instead get them some toys they can enjoy independently, such as a treat puzzle, or give them a piece of your old clothing to snuggle with.
Get a Gudog sitter
If your dog is having trouble re-adjusting to spending so much time alone, Gudog is here to help you out. Our friendly dog sitters will be able to give your favourite pal all the attention they need while you’re out earning the big bucks, so you won’t have to worry about them getting lonely. It’s a great idea to trial a few hours a week before you go back to work, so your pupper can make friends with their new sitter first too!