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  • Writer's pictureVickie Foster

How To Help Your Dog Adjust to Your Return to Work

Over the last pandemic year, you may have been home or working from home. Your dog has reveled in having you snuggled up on the couch in your sweatpants showering it with attention. It has gotten used to being with you. Now that you are planning your return to work, include your dog in those plans.

Gradually Adjust

Your dog’s recent routine will be interrupted without you around. But most dogs are very adaptable and you’ll find they adjust to most new schedules within a week. Just the same, start training your pooch slowly. Don’t be abrupt in your pet training efforts to get your dog used to your back-to-work schedule.

Use Crate Training

There are ways to train a dog to get it used to a new routine. One of the best ways is to use crate training. Shortly before your return to work, start by putting your dog in its crate for short periods of time while you are out. A good time span would be 15 minutes. Dogs are very much attuned to the moment. So it’s hard for them to tell if you are gone for a few minutes or an hour. Use this to your advantage to take short breaks from your pooch in the beginning.

Practice Leaving

Notice how your dog behaves as you are going out the door or putting on your shoes to leave. If they show agitation or appear anxious, practice preparing to leave without actually going. Open the door or put on your shoes until they appear calm about your departure plans. Then gradually lengthen the amount of time you are gone when you actually leave.

Get A Morning Routine

Giving your pet physical exercise before you leave and when you return can alleviate their stress. Take them on a vigorous walk or include them in an exuberant playtime with mental exercises. Do this at the same time in the morning as your expected departure time. This will ease them into relaxing in your absence.

Keep your dog from getting bored while you are gone. Use treat dispensers, puzzle feeders, and chew toys to keep them busy.

Have A Low-Key Return

When you return home don’t make your arrival into a huge fuss. This will only make separation anxiety worse. If you arrive home and lavishly greet your dog this heightens the significance of the arrival they have been anticipating. Instead, open the crate, give your dog some low-key attention and go about your routine. This tells your dog that he is ok being on his own without you. Being alone is not an ordeal he has to be comforted over.

Be patient with your pet while it is adjusting to this new routine! We hope this was helpful. May you require assistance please contact us at If you'd rather have your dog be around other dogs while you're at work, bring them to daycare!


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All proceeds from Thousand Hills Pet Resort support New Life K9s. New Life K9s provides service dogs to veterans and first responders with PTSD at no cost to them.




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