Covid 19 & Separation Anxiety

Updated: Mar 13

We are all too aware of the lasting impacts Covid-19 will have on every aspect of our lives. But have you considered the impact it could have on your dog?

For many dogs this will be the time of their lives, their families are at home all day, they have all the human contact they could ever want and they really are ‘living their best lives’.

However, some dogs may be finding the constant human interaction quite tiring and the disrupted routine can be stressful for our dogs. Some dogs may be receiving far more exercise than they’re used to, which could be harmful physically or mentally. It’s important to try and maintain some sense of ‘normality’ for our dogs, this will help avoid increased stress levels and minimise the impact of ever-changing routines.

Many dogs will have spent years in a stable routine where they are left for several hours in the day while their humans go to work or run errands. They are comfortable with time on their own and it’s a normal part of their daily lives. Suddenly, their family is at home all day every day and they never have to spend any time alone. Some may still choose to take themselves away and settle on their own, but others will relish the human contact. What happens when you start to leave them again?

For other dogs, being separated from their humans is already a daily struggle and a cause of anxiety. It must feel great to not have the stress of separation, but you may face an even tougher challenge next time you have to leave. And for new additions during this pandemic, perhaps a new puppy or rescue dog, they will know no different to having humans around all the time. Being left alone is an unknown concept to them.

It’s easy to want to enjoy this time by showering our pets with attention and revolving our days around them. While we should absolutely make the most of this, we also need to remember that at some point, our lives will settle back into some sort of routine. Most of us will have to return to work and probably all of us will need to leave our pets on a regular basis again. It’s short-sighted to think that we should simply enjoy this time and not plan for when we have to leave them. In a few month’s time we face the possibility of a pandemic of dogs with separation anxiety. Now is the time to make a plan and it is also the perfect situation to work carefully on existing separation issues.