Back in March, most of the United States was sent into some type of quarantine because of the COVID-19 global pandemic. For millions of Americans, this meant making the shift from working in an office to working out of their house. While most workers got used to working in their own homes, their dogs also got used to having their owners home all day. For many dogs, this was a dream come true.
Quarantine led to an increased amount of attention, several more walks per day, and added a level of security that their master was only a few feet away at all times. You may have even taken advantage of this situation by adopting a rescue dog yourself. Afterall, the added time at home means you can train them properly and not have to worry about leaving them alone. While this may have resulted in a well-behaved dog, it also means your pup never knew what it was like to spend extended periods of time by themselves.
However, for many Americans, the next few months will mean going back to school and work. While that transition will be hard enough on adults, it will be even harder for the dogs who do not understand why the fun times are suddenly over. It is important to not make the switch cold turkey. This type of sudden change may cause them to lash out and cause damage to your house and belongings. Here are 3 easy ways to help transition your dog when it’s time for you to return to the office.
#1 - Gradually Increase Your Time Away
If your dog has never been left home alone for more than a few hours, this is something they need to get used to gradually. You can start by leaving your home for a few hours each day to run errands. The key is to plan to have your entire family out of the house at the same time. This will allow your puppy to learn how to be alone. Slowly, they will become comfortable with the idea and start their own routine of taking a nap or resting somewhere throughout the house.
#2 - Limit Their Walks
If you are like me, quarantine meant taking your dog for several walks throughout the day. Many of us used this as an excuse to get out of the house. While the extra exercise was great for both us and our canine, it created a new routine that now must be followed. If you notice, your dog is usually standing by the door at designated times throughout the day. If you know your return to work is imminent, begin limiting the amount of walks throughout the day. The goal is to only take them out before and after your workday so they can get used to the new routine.
#3 - Hire A Dog Walker
If your dog is struggling to adjust, you may want to consider hiring a local dog walker to visit your pup throughout the day. At least this will break up the day and give them the human interaction they crave. However, this is a short-term fix that must be decreased overtime. For example, if they come every day for one week, the following week they should only go four times, then three, then two, then one, and then they should stop going altogether.
All good things must come to an end. While you may not have viewed COVID and the quarantine as a positive, your rescue dog certainly did. However, the way things have been these last few months is not real life. It is important your dog gets used to the way things are going to be for the long term. By following these steps, your puppy or dog will be able to easily transition into a new routine without issue.