Separation anxiety after Covid-19 and your return to work

by Bark Butter

Five tips to help with separation anxiety when you return to work after Covid-19

1. Change Your “Going Away” Signals

Use a different door, put your coat on but don’t leave for 15 minutes, leave your keys/purse/shoes in a different location. The goal is to break your dog’s association of these actions with your departure and not let them trigger separation anxiety. When you leave, give your dog a treat or a toy to play with to distract them. They will also teach your pooch that being alone is not scary and create positive associations with your departure.

2. Downplay Goodbyes and Hellos

Don’t get emotional when leaving your dog and overexcited when you come back. By paying too much attention to your departure and return, you risk reinforcing the dog’s fear of your absence. Calmly say goodbye and leave. When you come back, quietly say hello and don't get too affectionate until your dog has calmed down.

3. Exercise Your Dog Before Departure

A tired dog is a calm dog. Exercising at least 30 minutes before departure will relax your dog and divert its attention to food and sleep.

4. Train Your Dog to Be Alone When You Are in the House

Tell your pooch to stay in a room by themselves while you go to a different part of the house. If your dog has severe separation anxiety, start with small 5-10 second intervals and work up to 20-30 minutes over several weeks. 

5. Baby steps, take your time. 

Start with baby steps if you can, if your able to leave the house for 3-5 hours during the week and follow all the above steps, gradually build up to 8 hours and built that towards a normal working week. They have loved you being home during Covid-19 so its best to slowly return to the old routine. 


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