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Prepare your pets for post-pandemic

They got too used to you staying at home
Posted at 7:28 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 14:31:43-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It’s an old pandemic joke by now that the pandemic’s really a conspiracy by your pets to keep you home with them. Now that people are looking ahead to going back to the office. How do you keep your pet from freaking out when you're gone?

You may be happy to get back to your office but if your pets will probably hate it when you do.

Volunteer trainers at Top Dogs help Pima Animal Care Center reduce emotional problems in dogs.

Lynne Stott of Top Dogs says even a dog that did not have separation anxiety before, may have it now after a year with you as a constant companion.

You could see it already.

She says, “If they follow you to the door scratch and whine, if they bark when you leave. If your neighbors call and say, Hey, do something about your barking dogs. Those are all really good signs that you have a problem to address.

She says well before you return to a normal work routine it’s good to start desensitizing

“And that's simply repetitive movement, so that if you can get three feet from the door before your dog gets upset, you do that 25 times, and the dog eventually will say, ‘Hey, I've been there, done that, nothing to worry about.’”

The trainers from Top Dog brought out a dog named Mac to help demonstrate training techniques. Not incidentally, Mac is up foradoption from Pima Animal Center. You can learn more about him at this link.
Stott says it pays to help your dog view a kennel not as a cage, but as a secure, comforting den. That can take lots of treats at first so the dog decides good things happen inside that kennel.

“It might be two weeks to a two month process so you want to get started now. See how your dog responds. The smarter the dog, the faster they'll learn to miss you when you're gone, the faster they'll learn to be okay with you leaving, once you desensitize them.”