Will My Dog Be Okay When I Go Back to Work?
Dogs are social creatures who love routines. Whether you’ve been laid off, unemployed, or working from home, spending every day with your pup starts to become their new normal. As you get ready to return to work and leave your furry friend behind, there are important steps you should take to ease their transition and prevent the (often destructive) side effects of separation anxiety.
- Start Leaving the House Now. Before you’re gone for 8 hours a day, start today by leaving your dog alone for shorter periods of time when you’d normally leave for work. What can start as a half hour, can slowly build up to 8 hours after a few weeks. Each time you return, make sure reuniting with your dog is uneventful, preventing them from anticipating an exciting reunion with hugs and treats. If at any time you return to find your house in ruin, or your dog showing signs of stress, lessen your time away back to the previous interval and continue at a slower pace.
- Introduce Crate Training. Crating your dog is the safest option if leaving them home alone. Left unsupervised, your bored pup can find other means of entertainment, like digging through the garbage, chewing on whatever they can find, or relieving themselves in undesirable locations. But this method isn’t as simple as buying the crate and leaving them alone, read tips on how to properly crate train your dog to set you both up for success.
- Send Them to Daycare. Doggy daycare is perfect for working pet parents. Having a safe, reputable facility to care for your dog while you’re away not only offers peace of mind that your pup isn’t home alone howling for your return, your dog will also be making friends, burning off energy, and will be happy and tired at the end of your work day. Canine to Five offers drop off times as early as 6:30AM, and pickup times as late as 8PM, making it a convenient addition to your daily commute. (Plus, you get to ride to and from work with your dog!)
- Give Them Something to Do. A bored dog is often a destructive dog, so making sure they have something to occupy themselves while you’re away is key! Puzzle toys and stuffed Kongs are a fun way to provide enrichment that’ll keep them physically and mentally stimulated in their crate. No time to run to the pet store? Check out these DIY Puzzle Toys!
- Tire Them Out! You know how the saying goes, “A tired dog is a happy dog.” Setting time aside to exercise your dog before and after work will help with relaxation, and reducing any anxieties they may have about being alone. Exercise for canines isn’t all about tiring them out physically – giving them mental stimulation by offering short, 10 minute walks to smell everything they’d like can be just as helpful as a 10 minute jog!
- Hire a Dog Walker. Some dogs prefer the comfort of their own home, but still struggle with separation anxiety when alone. Hiring a dog walker allows your dog to get the exercise and attention they deserve during the day, while still getting to rest at home awaiting your return.
- Talk With Your Vet. If you’ve exhausted all of your options and your pup is still stressed out anytime you’re away, it may be time to talk to your vet. You can work on creating a calmer environment at home, or learn more about medications that can ease your worried pooch.
Whichever method works best for your dog, Canine to Five is always accepting new clients for dog daycare, overnight dog boarding, and dog grooming in both Detroit and Ferndale, Michigan. Whether you have a new puppy, or an older dog who just needs some lovin’, our CPR & First Aid trained staff are available during the day, and overnight, to care for your four-legged friend.