Your pets may be spending more time than ever with us due to the proposed lockdown initiative. However, once the lockdown is lifted, there's a chance some pets may suffer from separation anxiety when we return to our normal routines.
One of the few benefits of the coronavirus lockdown is getting to spend more time with your furriers. Even though your pet doesn't know why you're around so much, it's likely they're loving all the attention.
But eventually, things will go back to normal. And when that time comes, your pet may struggle staying alone again for extended amounts of time. Even pets that have previously been acclimated to daily isolation may find it tough. The transition between constant company and too little or no company is a big one.
So, to avoid this you can practice the below-mentioned points which could lead to an easier and a hassle-free transition and can teach your pets to cope up with post- lockdown separation anxiety:
- Towards the end of lockdown, start taking your pets back to their pre-lockdown It is very important to make this separation gradual and smooth for your pets.
- Don’t be with your pet the whole day. Keep them in another room for some time every day.
- Encourage your pets to sleep by themselves.
- Do not take them with you when you go shopping and when you return, ignore them for a few minutes just to dedramatize the situation.
- Let them spend a few hours a day independently pursuing other physical and mental activities without you. This could be in a crate or in a different room to you. This will remind it of how to cope with its own company. You can also leave your pets with a chew toy to help calm them down.
- Keep greetings and departures from the house low-key. If you're anxious or emotional about leaving, you might unintentionally transmit that tension to your pets.
- Help your puppy associate your departure with good things. Think of the things you typically do before you leave: Putting on your coat, jingling your keys, picking up your bag or briefcase, etc. Start doing these activities when you're not leaving, give your puppy something he loves (like a stuffed Kong or a favorite toy), and put him in his crate. Wait a short time and take him out before he’s finished with his treat. The idea is to teach him to associate the signs of your departure with feeling good. Some owners save high-value toys and treats for alone time to help this process along.
- If possible, try standing outside your front door without your pet for a few minutes, or even go into the garden without him. The lack of your constant presence will help your pets to maintain their confidence when they’re alone.
- Practice positive reinforcement by giving them treats, etc. when they spend time away from you and play independently.
- Consider medication/supplements if anxiety issue is severe.
These are some things you can consider practising with your pets before the lockdown is lifted to prevent your beloved pooches from suffering with separation anxiety.