We’ve all got very used to working and staying at home during lockdown. Not having to commute to the office, getting slightly longer in bed each morning, even working out in the garden if the sun is shining, so when the time comes to return to our previous lives it might be a bit of a wrench. But it’s not just us who will struggle with the changes, as the experts at Animal Friends pet insurance explain.
Our pets have also got used to having their family at home every day. From getting extra cuddles to the sounds of people moving around, most of them love the company that lockdown has brought them. That’s why separation anxiety is a serious possibility, especially for puppies who have been surrounded by company their entire lives.
We’ve put together this helpful list of ways you and your family can start getting your puppy used to staying home alone when the time comes to go back to school, work and social events.
Start the new routine early
Don’t wait until you are heading out to work to get your pup used to the new way of life. You can start their new routine in advance to help them prepare for the changes – begin to walk and feed them at the times you would before and after you go to work, leave the house for extended periods of time so they can get used to being on their own, and if you’ll be out all day after lockdown, start using a dog walker or sitter so they can get to know the person who will be popping in during the day.
Make sure to exercise
Mornings can be a rush to get out the door, but taking the time to properly exercise your dog and exhausting some of their energy can help keep them calm while you are away. It is also great bonding time between you and your puppy, which they will also love.
Keep them entertained
When dogs are bored that’s when they get naughty and start trying to find shoes and other precious items to chew on! Make sure your puppy has plenty of toys and games to play with while you are away. It’ll distract them from looking for you.
Another tip is to put a radio on – it stops the house being too quiet after months of the noise of people in the house.
Make them a safe space
Dogs like having a place that is comfy and cosy where they can curl up and relax. Wherever you plan on keeping your dog while you are out (some dogs are crate trained, while others just need a bed to lie in) make sure that it’s their little haven.
There are also plug-in diffusers that secrete dog pheromones that can help keep them calm and relaxed, and some dogs even like a heated pad under their bed to keep them extra cosy!
Spend time with them
When you get home, make sure to spend a lot of time with your puppy – playing, grooming or doing a wee bit of training are all ways that your dog will get positive attention and affection. It reminds them that you are coming home and when you do, they’ll get lots of love!
If you need more advice and help with your puppy, whether it’s about life after lockdown or any other queries, you can get free access to PupStart with an Animal Friends insurance policy.
From diet and nutrition to behavioural changes and socialisation, you’ll be able to get peace of mind on all aspects of your puppy’s wellbeing, with advice tailored to every stage of their development during the first year of their life.
- As part of PupStart, you’ll also get:
- One month’s free flea and tick treatment
- Free unlimited video consults with a vet or vet nurse, day or night 24/7
- Unlimited free access to Joii’s comprehensive symptom checker
To find out more about Animal Friends insurance and the PupStart programme, visit their website.