With many of us heading back in the workplace, it’s inevitable that our pets are going to be feeling a little glum that their humans aren’t around as much anymore. Let’s face it, working from home is a real luxury for many of us, and our furries certainly feel the same way. After several months of extra company and attention, it can be tricky for some dogs to settle back into a different routine.
There are, however, a few ways you can help to ease your pooch back into ‘normal’ life and reassure them that everything is ok, even without those mid-morning head scratches and cuddles!
Natural pet healthcare brand, Broadreach Nature, are sharing a few top tips for dog owners worried about heading back to the office…
Firstly, it’s important to recognise the signs of separation anxiety, and this can differ from dog to dog. It might look like:
- An increase in heart and breathing rate when you leave the house
- Excessive panting and salivating
- Scratching at doors, carpets and furniture
- Jumping up on to windowsills and frantically trying to get out
- Barking, whining and howling
- Following you around the house on your return
- Displaying the above behaviours when they notice you’re getting ready to leave
How can you help your dog to settle and feel calmer?
Take it in steps – some dogs may struggle with a sudden overnight change, and if one day you’re working from the home and the next you’re gone Monday-Friday they may feel worried and anxious. Try to ease your dog in with graduated change, if you know you’re due back in the office soon, start by leaving your dog at home in small bursts. Whether that’s heading out for an hour or two or working from a local café for a few hours to get them used to you not being at home all day long.
Arrange a lunch time visit – dogs should never be left for more than four hours, and puppies even less! When returning to the office, ensure that a visit is arranged to check up on your dog and make sure everything is ok. This will help nervous dogs, and make sure that they don’t feel suddenly abandoned. If it’s not possible to leave work, or if you commute long distances, it might be a good idea to seek the help of a neighbour or someone your dog knows and feels comfortable with, to go and check up on them and provide a little midday company.
Keep them calm – change in routine can trigger emotional distress for some more sensitive pups, therefore reassuring them and keeping them calm is really important. Calming products such as a natural Calming Room Spray, Calming Liquid and Calming Soft Chews can have a positive effect on dogs. The Broadreach Nature room spray is formulated with a special blend of fragrance extracts to simulate canine pheromones which can help to provide that feeling of reassurance.
Keep the radio on – little distractions such as the sound of the television or radio can provide comfort for your dog when left alone. Many find this soothing, and more comforting than being left alone in complete silence. Keep the sound on low to help them adjust to their new routine.
Hire a dog walker – it’s likely that if you’ve been working from home, you’ll either have been enjoying longer dog walks, or possibly even an extra lunchtime walk to escape the house and enjoy some fresh air. Your dog may feel a bit miffed if he or she is suddenly deprived off extra walkies, so why not consider hiring a dog walker to break up their day and also provide them with love and attention? This is something you might just want to introduce in the early days of easing them back into a routine, gradually cutting down until they feel happy and settled once more.
Of course, if your dog is really struggling with nervousness and anxiety, it’s always best to seek the help of a professional vet!
For more advice, and calming supplements for dogs visit broadreachnature.com