The coronavirus pandemic is raging around the world. There are many, many people working from home at the moment, and this has a major impact on your pet’s everyday life, especially if your dog has always stayed at home before while you went to work.
Your dog has so far been accustomed to being left alone in the house or garden after a morning walk and spending most of his/her day resting. Being at home all the time is quite a big change compared to that. Especially if there are children in the family whose hustle and bustle can be tiring for a more sensitive dog. It may not come as a surprise, if you find that your dog is restless, can’t find its place, or follows you around all the time.
What can you do in order to make it easier for your pet?
- Give your pet opportunities to rest. Her basket should be in a place where she can go undisturbed. A room kennel or box can be really useful in this case. (If your pet isn’t familiar with either of these yet, make sure she gets used to them gradually! Feed her in the cage with the door open, put some snacks inside, and reward your dog if she goes in on her own.)
- Pay close attention to your pet when there are small children in the family. Loud playing, running, and the unpredictable behaviour of children can be a source of stress for dogs. In this case, you could even lock your pet in your bedroom for a few hours so that she can relax in peace.
- Aim to change as little as possible in your pet’s daytime routine. Walks should be taken at the usual time, but if possible, they can be longer too. Take advantage of the time you gain by not having to travel to work.
- Home rules remain in place. For example, if you haven’t let your dog on the settee so far, let it stay that way. Rather, sit down on the ground yourself and call her over for a cuddle.
- Leave your pet alone sometimes, for example when going to the shop.
- If local restrictions do not allow you to go out too much, try making up for the lost running time with home sessions. Teaching tricks is a really good way to spend time.
Take care of yourself too!
You might also experience a change in the behaviour of your pet despite the fact that your everyday life has remained the same because you have been working from home so far anyway. The reason for the change can primarily be found in yourself. Uncertainty about the epidemic can lead to anxiety that your pet can sense. Because of this, she may approach you more often, but may also do the exact opposite and keep a distance.
In the latter case, try to clear your head as much as possible, meditate, or do breathing exercises before dealing with your pet.
Think about the future!
With social distancing, it is understandable that you will want to make up for the missing contact with your pet, as many people keep dogs for this reason in the first place. But it must not be forgotten what will happen to your dog once the pandemic is over. There will come a time when you’ll go back to work or anywhere else for that matter without your four-legged friend. And after a prolonged period of continuously being together, separation can be difficult. Therefore, no matter how much you enjoy being together all the time, it is worth following the rules above to prevent behavioural problems in the future.