At some point in the future (hopefully the not-so-distant future) we’re going to be moving out of lockdown and able to go back to work, maybe go on holiday, and basically be out of our houses far more than we are right now.
At the moment, your dog is having a ball. They love that you’re home far more than normal and they have their beloved human by their side practically 24/7. However, when lockdown is over and you start to leave the house, they’re going to wonder what is going on. They’ve become used to you being around, just as they had to get used to you being home all the time initially, and now they’re not sure what they’ve done to make you leave the house, or why it’s all happening.
To avoid your dog becoming lonely, worried, or anxious, it’s important to start preparing them in the weeks before lockdown ends, so that when you are able to leave the house more, they’re not spending their time worried and fretting.
Start Getting Them Used to Being Alone Again
In the few weeks before lockdown finishes it’s a good idea to slowly start leaving them alone somewhere in the house. This could mean that you close them downstairs whilst you go upstairs to work, or that you let them stay out in the garden for a little longer whilst you work indoors. Then, when the time comes, they’ll be used to being alone and it won’t be such a shock.
Make Sure They’re Left Somewhere Comfortable
Of course, if you’re going to leave them alone for a while, make sure that they’re comfortable and that they have everything they need, for example, a puppy blanket, interactive dog toys, and access to food and water. This also applies when you do start going out of the house for longer because that way they’ll be distracted by their home comforts and less likely to worry.
Leave The TV or Radio on For Company
When you go out, try leaving the TV on low volume or leaving the radio on. This will help your dog to feel like they’re not alone and it will provide a little comfort until you return. Of course, this is also good for deterrent when your house is left empty as it makes it look like someone is home.
Make Sure You Still Spend Outdoor Time Together
When you return home from work or wherever you have been, make sure you still spend a good amount of time playing with your dog and heading outside for some fun. They’ve been in the house all day, so they’ll need fresh air and exercise. Make this a bonding time for you and your dog and they won’t be as concerned when you’re not there, because they know that their time to spend with you is coming. If you go for a long walk earlier in the morning, this will also tire them out so they may sleep for most of the time you’re out anyway.
Start Getting Them Into a Routine
Before lockdown ends, start getting your dog into a routine again. Whatever routine you had before lockdown started, you need to re-establish that slowly, so that your dog becomes used to it ahead of time.
Your dog has got into a nice little pattern during lockdown, and it’s important to prepare them properly for when this period in our lives ends. The good news is that dogs are very adaptable and your fur baby will quickly slot back into their old or new routine.