Sheltering in place for the last year and a half means most of us have been spending less time outdoors for work and leisure. While many people were bored of being stuck at home, most dogs loved having their family around them all day long.
To help get your dog used to you being back in the office or spending more time out of the house, try our recommendations below:
1. Crate Training
Get your dog used to spending time in their crate so they have a safe den-like place to rest. Encourage your dog to go into their crate by putting treats in there and praising when they enter the crate.
Crates should be covered, like with a towel, so light and our movements don’t bother your pup. When you leave the house, make sure to leave the crate door open so your dog can go in there if they get anxious.
2. Exercise your dog before you leave
Get your dog’s energy out before you leave the house so they are more relaxed and more likely to nap while you are out. Taking your dogs on long walks or playing fetch until they need to rest are both great ways to ensure your dog gets enough exercise and relax at home.
3. Associate your leaving with something positive
Redirect the dog’s brain to associate your leaving with something positive. Try this: Get a hollowed out bone. When you are ready to leave the house, put some shredded cheese inside the bone and microwave it until the cheese melts inside the bone (you can also put peanut butter and freeze it). Let it cool for a few minutes and when you are ready to walk out the door, tell your dog to “watch the house “ and give him/her the bone.
The dog only gets this bone with melted cheese when you leave the house. When you come home- take the bone and put it in the freezer immediately. The dog only ever gets this treat when you leave. The dog will associate you leaving with getting a high value special treat. It takes them hours to lick all the cheese out of the bone. Keeps the mind busy and the dog happy.
4. Put something that smells like you in their bed
Place your blanket or article of clothing in your dog’s crate or bed before you leave. They can rest and be comforted by the familiarity of your smell.
5. Try CBD for your dog
CBD is the non-psychoactive chemical in cannabis and is used to relax and decrease pain. Many dogs become more relaxed after receiving CBD, most often given as a tincture. If you decide to try CBD for your dog, make sure to check what an appropriate dose would be for your dog’s size.
6. Avoid getting excited when greeting your dog
When you come back home, you and your pup naturally are very happy to see one another again. Make sure to not pay too much attention when you get home so that they don’t associate you coming home with lots of excitement.