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Why the pandemic is so confusing for dogs

Foreigner.fi | 28 de June de 2020

If you're heading back to the office after weeks of being at home, you may well be breaking your dog's heart. Photo: Monique Wuestenhagen/dpa
If you're heading back to the office after weeks of being at home, you may well be breaking your dog's heart. Photo: Monique Wuestenhagen/dpa
An empty house after weeks of you being around will likely leave the dog feeling it has been abandoned.

Given the warm welcome you get every time you come home from work, you'd expect remote work to be a blessing for your dog.

But when your time at home comes to an abrupt end and suddenly the human is gone without a trace, things are going to be very confused for dogs, to say the least.

That doesn't mean your dog prefers it when you're at home all the time, either. If there's more hustle and bustle than usual around the house, this can make for a more tense mood that will stress the dog, animal welfare experts say.

You might feel like your dog can't get enough of you, but dogs also benefit from a little alone time, according the German Animal Welfare Association.

Having a dog bed or separate room with no humans as a safe place can help reduce stress. This is recommended especially if the children are suddenly at home all day. Don't make the dog's retreat a punishment or something that is enforced, however.

In addition to allowing for quiet times and walks, the animal welfare activists recommends that dogs that live in an apartment should have some sort of mental stimulation as well.

Teaching tricks

Consider teaching the dog tricks or giving it something to look for. Dogs will often get bored between walks and require mental stimulation and physical work to be happy.

If you're called back to the office after the lockdown, see if you can avoid suddenly leaving the dog alone. An empty house after weeks of you being around will likely leave the dog feeling it has been abandoned.

Even for dogs that were used to being alone for a few hours before the pandemic, it will be a major change to no longer be allowed to spend almost 24 hours of the day with their humans.

In other words, you should try and make the change as gradual as possible. The total time that a dog has to be alone should be only slowly increased. Animal welfare experts say a dog should never have to be alone for more than six hours.

You can see this article in the next direction /articulo/coronavirus/why-the-pandemic-is-so-confusing-for-dogs/20200628162837006674.html


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