For your dog, all that time you spent working from home was a dream. But now that you’re headed back to the office, getting your fur baby to chill out and get used to you being away can take some real effort. For anyone looking for tips on how to relieve your dog’s anxiety when you go back to work, this blog’s for you.
Training your dog isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It takes time, effort, and patience, but it’s worth it to help your pet feel more comfortable in your absence. If you need extra help, CBD dog treats may be the answer.
In principle, all that’s required is for you to make a plan and stick to it. With a few baby steps, your dog will eventually be content without you around (don’t worry, they’ll still be happy to have you back).
Let’s take a look at how to help your dog chill out as you head back to the office.
Start Small, Move Up
By now, your dog expects you to be home all the time. You’ll have to break this habit, and that starts with getting them used to being home alone. As you probably guessed, they’re going to hate it, but things will get better.
Start by picking one day a week that you will leave the house. If your neighbors might be annoyed by the barking that is to come, settle for a Saturday or Sunday to minimize noise during work hours.
Each day of that week, leave them alone for an hour or two. Minimize the fanfare of your coming and going. Don’t give your dog a teary goodbye or hug them like there’s no tomorrow — the less dramatic your exit, the easier it’ll be for them to adjust. Remember, this is to be part of their normal life.
As you keep this up for the coming weeks, your dog will get whiny when you leave, but you have to stay strong.
Using Treats to Sweeten the Deal
Those first times away from your pup can be rough. There’s a lot of barking after you leave, and a lot of yipping once you return. If the cold turkey, leave-them-alone-for-hours method isn’t your style, you may want to take a more granular approach.
One way to do this is to give your pup a treat, walk out the door for a moment, and come back in within 10–15 seconds. Make sure you return before your dog starts whining, then give them a treat. If they bark before you get back, withhold the treat and try again for a shorter period away.
Let’s face it — dogs are at their best when offers of food are on the table. Any dog trainer will tell you that treats are an essential part of any training regimen, so make sure you have some handy.
How CBD Treats Can Help
Some treats can be used to calm your dog and keep them relaxed while you’re away. CBD dog treats, for example, are becoming more and more popular among dog owners because they are non-toxic and safe for regular use.
Unlike regular training treats that you can hand out all day, there are limits to how many CBD treats your dog should eat — start with no more than 2mg per pound of body weight before increasing from there.
CBD treats don’t work instantly, so make sure to give them to your dog about a half hour before you leave. Quality CBD treats are effective for up to two hours, making them very helpful for extended periods away.
Remember, CBD treats aren’t a substitute for training your dog. They can make training easier, but it’s up to you to be consistent so your dog learns to be okay alone.
Crate Training Works
Giving your dog their own personal space is a great way to keep them calm while you’re gone. Crate training is one of the best ways to do this.
First, you’ll have to introduce them to their new crate. Leave it in common areas with the door open — you’ll want your dog to get comfortable with the idea of having it nearby. Leave a food bowl near the crate so that you can eventually bring it inside and feed your dog there.
After a few days or weeks, quietly close the door while your dog eats, then open it as soon as they’re finished. It’s important that they don’t feel trapped.
It’s important that you never force your dog into the crate. If they get scared of having to go inside, it’ll be a long time before they feel comfortable enough to do it on their own. Make sure you only let them out when they don’t bark or whine. Responding to whines only reinforces that behavior.
Now that they’re familiar with their crate, gradually increase the time you leave them in there alone. This is their space now, and they’ll feel a lot safer without you home.
Keep Them Exercised
There’s no explanation for why dogs have so much energy. It’s a mystery, and for some dogs — especially puppies — being left alone is just a chance to let all that energy run wild. This is why it’s important that your dog gets lots of regular exercise.
At the very least, your dog should be getting a few good-sized walks each day. This probably won’t be enough to calm them down, but at least they’ll be sane. It may not always be possible to fit more exercise into a day, but if you can, your dog will be better for it.
Dogs that get regular exercise are happier and better adjusted to social situations. Time spent with them outside helps to build the kinds of strong bonds and trust needed to leave your dog at home alone.
On your weekly day out, make sure they’ve had a good run in at your local dog park beforehand. While they may not doze off, exercise will keep them more relaxed until you return. Plus, exercise itself reduces stress.
Find Doggy Friends for Them
Whether it’s going to the dog park or a weekly trip to obedience school, it’s good for your dog to socialize with other dogs and people. The more time they spend alone, the crazier they become, so do your part by keeping them in contact with the outside world.
Life can be too busy to take time away, but it’s important to make it happen, both for your dog’s sanity and your own.
Dogs that aren’t socialized are more likely to be aggressive, territorial, and unruly around the house.
If you have friends with dogs, plan a date for all the floofs to get together and run around. And if you think there’s a chance your dog spends too much time alone, it’s never a bad idea to consider getting a second dog.
Finally, have fun with your dog! Teaching them to be alone is not an excuse to keep them home alone as often as possible. You are their companion as much as they are yours.
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