Working From Home Can Create Separation Anxiety. Here's how to prevent it.
April 24, 2020
Many of us are working from home these days to flatten the curve of COVID-19. While this means that we get to spend an extra eight hours or more with our pups, it can also have negative impacts on their emotional wellbeing. We all want to spend as much time as possible with our furbabies. However, this can make going back to work even more difficult for the both of you. Eventually, you will return to work and your dog will miss the time you spent together during this pandemic. Even dogs who never had anxiety before may experience separation anxiety because they've gotten used to you being home so often.
In this article, we'll discuss how you can prevent this.
Tips for Preventing Separation Anxiety in Dogs When You Go Back to Work
We know that it's tempting to work with your dog right next to you in bed or on the couch, but it could be beneficial for you to work elsewhere. Not only will you be able to accomplish more without a needy pup trying to steal your attention, but it will allow them to understand that you won't always be home. While coffee shops are closed, try working a room that's closed off from your dog so that you can get your work done and they can spend some time doing what they'd be doing if you were at the office-- most likely sleeping.
By doing this you'll be teaching them that there is still a routine where they won't always get to spend all day with you. Conditioning your dog to spend more time alone will be beneficial when it comes time to go back to work.
Create a Puppy Zone
If your dog uses a crate, this can be place where they get used to spending time alone in a comforting space. While you work, you can try crating your dog. Depending on the type of dog you have and their level of neediness, it may still be beneficial for you to work in another room. However, your dog may still enjoy seeing you every so often, so make sure to help them understand that they should get used to spending more time alone.
If your dog isn't crate trained, you can still create a puppy zone where they have their toys and activities and can rest and relax while you get some work done. Try creating a section of any room for them to enjoy some time alone.
Encourage Independent Play
Playing with your dog is often the highlight of their day. However, you can't afford to do this all day now that you're working from home. By encouraging independent play, your dog will learn to be more independent, which will make them less likely to have severe anxiety when you return to work. You can try an interactive puzzle toy or a Kong to keep them entertained and tire your pup out.
While many states are still closed and you can't go to a restaurant or shopping, it can be beneficial for you to go out without your dog. Take a break from work and enjoy a nice walk alone so that you dog has some time without you in the home. This will remind them that you aren't always there and allows them to get back into their normal routine.
Separation anxiety isn't always preventable, but with these tips you can help your dog adjust to the new way of life.