Adapting to ‘lockdown life’ has taken its toll on people and their pets. No one was prepared for the pandemic. An existence of normality and routine were banished. As a consequence, some dog owners have noticed their pooch acting clingy and being overly territorial. Now change is coming again. Fortunately, there are some plans we can devise that will reduce any anxiety or stress a pet may be experiencing. Read on to discover how to prepare your dog and ease the transition from living in the lockdown into a new, yet happy normality.
1.Create ‘No Dog’ Rooms
In preparation for the end of isolation, your dog must adapt to not having you there 24-7. Just ignoring the problem and believing that the morning you go back to work and leave your pooch will be totally fine is a big mistake. For your pet, this would be like going cold turkey! Making gradual, small changes will help significantly.
Make the upstairs out of bounds so that your dog gets used to being on its own for certain periods. This will help prepare your pet so going back to work will not feel like such a shock.
2.Join a Dog Club
Should your pet be acting clingy or over-territorial perhaps you could consider signing him/her up to a dog club? Having that free time without you, where your dog does not have to think about protecting you, will do wonders for their self-esteem. Your pet will be able to relax and just be among other dogs. Think of it as some pet ‘me-time.’
3.The 5-Minute and Treat Trick Method
This is a great way to prepare a super-clingy pet for easing out of the lockdown with minimal distress. Firstly, give your dog his toy, pet him/her and say, ‘good boy/girl,’ then leave the house. Wait outside for 5 minutes, then go back in and praise your pet, also offering a treat. The idea is to repeat the process, gradually increasing the time you are away until they are comfortable with the concept.
4. Visit a Dog Behaviourist
Just like us, some dogs may be feeling too anxious or distressed to cope with so much change. Should this be the case, it may be worth making an appointment with an animal behaviourist. Do your research and make sure you find one with good reviews, and your pooch will be back to his/her happy, waggy-tailed self in no time!