Action that you can take today to help your dog after lockdown – Pat Two
Now that you have read part one and done the preparation, it is time to leave your dog for possibly the first tie or at least the first time in months
Leaving You Dog
It’s really important that you take baby steps to build up slowly and not make the mistake of assuming that because your dog was happy to settle on their own for 2 hours with you in another room of the house, that they will naturally settle for 2 hours once you leave the house.
As before, start by leaving the house for, say 10 minutes as you walk around the block over the next few days/weeks. Slowly build this up if you can. It is important to go at your dog’s pace.
No one can tell you the exact time it will take to get your dog to a stage where he is happy being left alone for a few hours, some longer, some less; Some dogs will adapt to being left more quickly and easily than others. Our article on entertaining the dog whilst you ate at work is worth a read.
Do not make a big deal about leaving them, and don’t make a massive fuss when you return. I’m not suggesting that you ignore your dog, more to calmly leave once they are settled and calmly return, let them out of their crate and greet calmly.
Whilst many of us are guilty of these Dramatic exits, kissing them goodbye, telling them you won’t belong or making a huge fuss when you come back home can often trigger a dog’s separation anxiety.
Invest in a Pet Camera
Many dog owners purchase pet cameras so they can drop in and check on how the dog is coping when you are not there. These can be picked up for a very reasonable cost on places like Amazon.
To give you peace of mind or to help you understand how your dog is coping when you leave them, you could also consider investing in a pet camera. (You can get some decent pet cameras for as little as £20 these days).
One advantage of the camera is that you will be able to see if you can extend the amount of time you are leaving your dog, depending on how well they are coping.
The time you put in now to help your dog become accustomed to you not being around 24/7 will make a big difference when the time comes for you to return to work!
How long is too long to leave a dog?
As a Professional Dog walker, my clients often ask me how long they can leave the dog for
During an average working day, my own dogs are not left for more than 4 to 5 hours at a time before I return and pick them up for a walk – although my um is usually within them. (Please remember that puppies will need checking on ore frequently)
If your dog is going to be left for most of the working day, you should consider whether you can pop home to walk or visit them, give them a toilet break, or whether you have a family member or neighbour who could do this for you, (if social distancing rules will allow this).
If you don’t have anyone that could help with this, you could consider using a Professional Dog Walker.
Do I Need a Dog Walke or Pet Sitter?
Using a professional dog walking service could be an option to break up the day for your dog if no one is able to pop in and spend time with them in your absence.
With the right dog walker, your dog will get both the physical and mental exercise they need, which means they are less likely to be lonely, bored, and potentially destructive while you are out at work.
You can have peace of mind knowing that your dog is getting the best quality of life, even when you are not around. Like with any industry, you’ll find you have plenty of options when looking for a local dog walker.
It’s important that you find the right dog walker for you and your dog, so ask plenty of questions. If you are unsure how to go about selecting a dog walker or what questions to ask, the Dogs Trust has produced some useful guidance. See the link below:
Other articles include preparing your dog for separation