Tips to stop your dog getting 'separation anxiety' as lockdown eases
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As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, many of us are looking forward to spending more time socialising and getting out of the house.
But for those of us with four-legged friends, this could mean a drastic change in how much time they are spending alone.
She said: "Our dogs will be spending more time alone maybe for the first time in a while due to lockdown, or if people have got one of the many pandemic puppies it could be their first time being left alone.
"It starts before you leave with getting your dog used to alone time, all training like this has to be done in small increments and at the dog's pace so it does not go over its threshold of comfort."
Here are Kate's tips to help your dogs get used to you being out of the house more.
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1. Get them used to it slowly
Leave your dog for a short amount of time and then build from there. Start with 30 seconds to a couple of minutes depending on what you dog can manage and build from there.
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2. Make sure they are tired before you leave
This means giving them a great walk filled with mental stimulation too, such as plenty of sniff time, doing some training, and if possible meeting another dog.
Get back 20-30 minutes before you need to leave and they will be ready for a good nap. If you are out for longer than four hours it's recommended to use a service like A Dog's Tale or a dog walker to let them out for a toilet break, give them some exercise and have a play.
Make sure they have at least one comfortable space that they feel safe in so they have things to comfort them.
4. Be calm
Be calm when you leave and return, do not make a massive fuss of your dog at either of these points. To them making a fuss signifies something important is about to happen, so it is better to be and encourage calm.
5. Ask an expert
If you are concerned your dog may be experiencing separation anxiety or other behavioural issues when you are not home, consider getting a pet camera so you can check on how they are doing and gain more understanding before seeking help from a qualified behaviourist.