As quickly as we all adjusted to a quick change of everyday life to a routine of staying at home; we will all soon be making another quick change. All of us will be heading back to work and picking up our old routines. While that may sound fantastic to most people, your dog may not be so excited.
Dogs are creatures of habit and when we were all required to stay at home, their routines and habits were disrupted. Our hounds had to quickly adjust to a new routine and because of this you may have even noticed them acting differently. Maybe they were chewing on things they shouldn’t be, chewing more often, or became a bit more attached to you than they typically were. This could all be because they are trying to cope with the change in their lives, just like all of us are.
Now that we are gearing up to return to work it is important to know what you can do to help ease this return to normalcy for your four-legged friend:
1. Give them some mental stimulation. You can provide a puzzle to work on, stuff a toy or bone to chew through, or even check out our blog Boredom Busters at the Hamilton Handbook for more fun ideas.
2. Work on training, basic manners, or tricks. Keeping them learning and practicing keeps their minds working and not just sitting around the house. Check out our Happy Hounds has Talent for some extra incentive.
3. Set a daily schedule and stick to it. Start their day by going outside, having breakfast, taking potty breaks and walks, all around the same time. Make sure that training and/or playtime, dinner, and bedtime are all scheduled activities so there is little deviation from what time you do them. Keeping a set daily routine helps them get through the day without a buildup of anxiety. Again, they are creatures of habit, and setting a schedule will help you get ready to get back to old routines too.
4. Take a trip out of the house without them. Whether you drive around, go grocery shopping, or take a hike in the woods; going out and giving them their space at home will help your pups cope with you being gone at work in a few weeks. Spending these weeks together has been so nice, but they may not know what to do with themselves when you leave all day again. If leaving your house is not an option, then crate them for an hour or few during the day to get that separation. Take a nap or work in another room without them. Give them their stuffed bone or puzzle to work on while you’re away so that they can work their mind and distract themselves from you not being around. This will help prevent or lessen any separation anxiety that can arise once we all go back to work.
Hopefully this will help you and your four-legged friends get through this unprecedented time. Happy Hounds Hotel & Day Spa is always here to help our clients, four and two-legged, to live a happy, balanced, and fun life.