NEW YORK — We often talk about the stress and anxiety COVID-19 has on children and adults. But, the pandemic can also have an impact on our dogs.
As the economy prepares to re-open, getting back to their normal routine can be as challenging for them as it is for us.
Robin Bennett is CEO and co-founder of The Dog Gurus.
She said starting a new routine is essential to a smooth transition, especially with dogs that had separation anxiety prior to COVID-19.
According to Bennett, it’s important for dogs to practice being home alone again. She suggests that pet owners pretend to go to work or take the kids to school, and see how they respond.
Also, set up a doggy cam. This would allow owners to monitor their pup's behavior. If the dog remains quiet, he or she is good to go. But if the dog continuously barks, you might have to try other methods, like introducing boredom busters to keep them entertained.
You can try giving them toys stuffed with treats to reward them for a job well done.
Doggy day cares and groomers are another option. Most centers have remained open through the pandemic and are considered essential. Yet some owners have opted not to drop their dogs off because of health concerns. If that’s the case, Bennett recommended following a "do it yourself" maintenance routine that includes brushing your dog’s fur to prevent tangles, periodic nail trims to keep them from getting too long, cutting their bangs to keep the hair out of their eyes, and keeping your dog’s ears clean by wiping down the inner flaps.
Following these steps will make adjusting to life after quarantine a smooth transition for you and our canine friends, Bennet said.