5 Ways to Prevent your Puppy or Dog Having Separation Anxiety as you Return to Work

Puppy in for check up


  • · Low appetite
  • · Toilet accidents indoors where pups have been previously well trained
  • · Barking/Howling/ Frequent Yawning and lick smacking.
  • · Pacing/Circling
  • · Escaping from the house or garden
  • · Chewing/Digging/Scratching – destructive behaviour
  • · Exuberant welcome home
  • Repeated licking of themselves or bedding

Firstly: Please ensure if you get a puppy during this time it is from a reputable source, and please think carefully on the time and monetary investments over the pets lifetime of 12 to 16 years as well as changes or restrictions to your lifestyle longterm (we will be able to travel soon. See https://www.petcarevets.ie/new-puppy/ and
https://www.petcarevets.ie/which-dog-and-where-to-get-it/ for some important questions you need to know before going ahead.

Next, Can you bring your puppy to work with you once you return to work? If not you need to ensure your dog is used to spending time apart from you and on their own. This can be done by you being upstairs and leaving them downstairs or in a different room while you work from home. You should gradually build up to hours at a time to replicate what will happen once you need to go back to work.

Most importantly practice Low Key Arriving and Leaving. In short do not make a fuss of cuddling and crooning over your pet every time you leave the house or to go to another room and especially when you or come back from your bedroom first thing in the morning. This way your dog won’t make a fuss of it either. Keep up to date with www.petcarevets.ie for more information on this very useful technique.

Likewise with Exercise. Keep exercise to something that is realistic for you to replicate once you return to work. For puppies 5 minutes per month is all that is recommended , as in a 2 month old puppy gets a 10 minute walk two or three times daily maximum and a 3 month old puppy gets 15 minutes, four months 20 minutes. Longer hikes are to be introduced from 15 to 18 months depending on the size of dog (later for large breed)

Finally: Routine. Dogs thrive on routine. Try to keep walkies, play time and feeding to around the same time each day as they would be for your normal working day once restrictions have been lifted.. Your dog will get used of this routine and understand that there is no need to fret as you will be back for that very important belly scratch before bedtime

Other resources see https://www.dogstrust.ie/whats-happening/blog/preventing-separation-anxiety for more advice on getting your dog used to being apart from you.

And for training videos see

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