When the pandemic struck, it was almost a no-brainer to get a dog. We were home all day long, with plenty of time to train, and the added affection of a new puppy was a comfort during an insane time in our lives. Now, though, vaccines are out, businesses are reopening and the U.S. is on the brink of a return to normalcy. The problem? Those pandemic puppies have no idea how to be alone.
Whether you had a dog prior to COVID-19 or just introduced a new furry friend into the mix since March 2020, our pets will soon have to learn how to be alone -- whether it’s for eight hours a day when we’re back working full-time at the office or simply for an afternoon of boozy brunch and retail therapy. Unfortunately, dogs who have either never had to be without their owners, or even just not for the last year and a half, aren’t going to be used to entertaining themselves, which can lead to separation anxiety.
While separation anxiety may seem like a non-issue, it’s a very real fear in our dogs! Not to mention it presents in problematic ways. Most common signs that your pup is experiencing separation anxiety include incessant barking, destructive behavior like chewing and scratching furniture, having “accidents” in the house and escape attempts.
So, what’s a dog owner who needs to return to work to do? Read on for some at-home trainings you can start to implement while you’re still at home to ease or prevent separation anxiety in your pandemic puppy.