Is Covid 19 Lockdown Creating Separation Anxiety in our dogs?

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I am a stay-at-home mom so my family is used to having me around all day. I do hope to get back to work one day soon and that has me concerned. The concern isn’t that my two boys will have to adjust to their mom not being home after school or that my husband will have to put in extra work…the concern is for my dogs. My two older dogs were around when I worked full-time but Daisy is a full on Covid puppy. She is 9 months old and hasn’t left my side from the day she stepped foot in our home. Should I be concerned and is there anything I can do to prepare her? Is there anything I can do to prepare myself?! The answer is yes, yes and I sure hope so!

When dogs experience separation anxiety they usually exhibit the following symptoms:

  • whining, crying, howling, barking
  • peeing/pooing on the floor after they have been housebroken
  • chewing, digging, scratching at items they shouldn’t
  • pacing
  • attempts to escape
  • drooling more than usual
  • depressed, anxious

Separation anxiety can be a real cause for concern and should be addressed before it becomes a really big problem. Teaching your dog that being apart is ok is important for his confidence and well being. The following are some tips that I have used with Daisy and my other girls, to help build their independence:

  • treats, treats and more treats – I am actually quite grateful that Bulldogs are so food motivated. I can use any food really with my Bulldogs as a treat and they are happy. I find my French Bulldog pickier and harder to motivate with treats. I start the training by going for a little walk without the dogs. As I am getting ready, I can see that they have picked up that I am going out and they are acting a little anxious by pacing around and getting excited. Before I leave I give them a little treat and a smooch (yes, I am that doggy mom). If I close the door and they start barking like crazy, I open the door and correct the behavior. I close the door once they are quiet. I might only leave for a few minutes. Once I come into the house, I praise them like crazy and give them a little treat. I repeat this process, increasing the length of time that I am out of the house. I also want to mention that if your dog is being destructive, such as chewing walls etc. I suggest that you crate them or block them in an area where they can’t hurt themselves or destroy anything.

  • calming items – there are items created for pets that utilize essential oils, CBD or pheromones to help bring a sense of calm to your pet. These Quiet Moments Calming Chews can help chill your pooch when they need it with the help of Chamomile and Melatonin https://amzn.to/38EYQ7w
  • mental and physical stimulation – we know the importance of exercise and play for our dogs. Exercising them before you go out will help burn some of their excess energy and help with anxiety. Also, consider an activity toy that releases treats when you go out. Give it to them only during these times and it will keep them busy and entertained. Try one of these stimulation toys on Amazon to keep them busy! https://amzn.to/35z6n5R

  • get them a buddy! – this isn’t for everyone but I had to add it in. We can’t imagine having only one dog. Our girls are best buds and keep each other busy all day…but that’s another post 🙂

One of these days Covid 19 will be a thing of the past and the Covid puppies will be the ones to feel it. Hopefully these tips will help that transition back to normalcy…whenever that will be! Now who is going to help me with my separation anxiety from my pups!?

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