CINCINNATI – Many of our pets loved the extra one-on-one experience the COVID0-19 pandemic brought with working from home. So much so that when some people return to the office they notice that their furry companions feel a little more stressed than usual.
Vets say it’s normal for your pet to have separation anxiety while you’re away because they don’t really know when you will be back. Red Dog Pet Resort and Spa staff say many more puppies are coming to their facility for day care.
“A lot of people felt lonely during COVID and were at home all the time, so they went out and had puppies,” said Chelsey Davis of the Red Dog Pet Resort and Spa.
Davis said the resort is a place where your pups – especially the newly adopted pups who have never been with anyone, let alone any other animal – can have human interaction when you need to return to the office during the day.
“This is new territory,” said Davis. “So when the pups come in, they’re like oh my god, there are other dogs here. How do I behave, how am I a puppy when I’m not with mom? “
Davis has noticed a number of people bringing their pets because they show signs of separation anxiety.
“Anxiety and behavior disorders are one of the most common things we hear from pet owners in general,” said Dr. Britt DeNuzio, veterinarian at Kings Veterinary Hospital. “Not just separation anxiety, but just dogs that fearful is definitely a thing and definitely very common.”
She describes that some of these symptoms are as simple as walking around and whining to more severe cases where the animal begins to become destructive.
“It’s basically a panic attack,” DeNuzio said. “They don’t know when to get home and they don’t know how else to deal with their fear, so a lot of people think the dog was bad when they went and tore or tore up the couch. You know, any object. And that’s not it at all, they weren’t trying to be bad. “
Instead, DeNuzio believes that the animal usually just panics without its owner. She advises her pet families to establish a routine as they prepare for the day.
“Try offering exercise to the dog before you leave, and then do what we call an inverted activity triangle,” she said. “So let’s start exercising and then maybe do a few minutes of exercise to stimulate them mentally and then just cuddle for a few minutes.”
If your pet likes to be with other animals, DeNuzio recommends taking it to a dog daycare.
Red Dog provides ratings for your pet so you can see how well they will interact with other people and animals.
“We just go slowly and steadily,” said Davis. “We don’t want to make it too overwhelming if they’re afraid to come in. After a few slow and steady times, it wins the race, and then they come in and they are more excited and so they will be better. It is recommended that you contact your pet’s veterinarian if you have any concerns about your pet having separation anxiety. ”