How to prevent separation anxiety in dogs after the coronavirus crisis lockdown

12 February 2021 - 1 min read

Dogs are spending more time than ever with us due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. However, once the lockdown is over there's a risk some pets may suffer from separation anxiety when we return to our normal routines.

The Dog Coach Vicky Carne explains how we can minimise the risk of separation anxiety, using a few key techniques, in her video below.

One of the few benefits of the coronavirus lockdown is getting to spend more time with your pet.

Even though your dog doesn't know why you're around so much, it's likely they're loving all the attention.

But eventually, things will go back to normal. And when that time comes, your pet may struggle with being alone again for extended amounts of time.

Even dogs that have previously been comfortable with daily isolation may find it tough. The transition between constant company and too little or no company is a big one.

To help reduce the risk of separation anxiety, here are a few tips you can follow:

  1. If your dog goes to doggy daycare or has a dog walker during the day, they'll be used to regular daily exercise. You should maintain this through one daily walk and plan a balanced mix of games and activities for your dog at home. If you're unable to walk your dog, then you can use the games and activities. We've listed some activities to keep your pet happy and healthy during coronavirus here.

  2. If you're working from home, don't be tempted to give your dog far more attention than you would in a normal day. Otherwise, it will be harder for your pet to get used to being alone once you've returned to work.

  3. Try to give your dog time alone during the day. This could be in a crate or in a different room to you. This will remind it of how to cope with its own company.  You can also leave dogs with a chew toy to help calm them down.

  4. If possible, try standing outside your front door without your dog for a few minutes, or even go into the garden without him. The lack of your constant presence will help your dog to maintain its confidence when it's alone.

Dogs can provide comfort and company at this time, helping many of us to get through a very difficult situation. However, it's important that you balance it with letting your dog be alone as well.

That way, when the times comes, your dog will remember how to be on its own when you head back to work.

Get more guidance on coronavirus and pets and how pet insurance can help.

Digby Bodenham
UK engagement team lead

Digby is an experienced journalist in various fields but has specialised in insurance for more than six years. Before joining ManyPets in 2013 he was part of the editorial teams of various magazines, including Retail Week and Drapers. He has a degree in journalism and a cat called Potato.