Dog owners across the country are spending less time in the office because of their furry friend.

Around 48 per cent of dog owners have reduced the amount of time they spend in the office due to owning a pet, according to a survey from the pet experts at YuMOVE.

This is especially prevalent in dogs bought during the coronavirus lockdown who got used to their owners being around nearly all the time.

Since a return to relative normal life, owners have seen plenty of signs of separation anxiety in their pets.

The most common behavioural change is an increase in vocal signs of distress. Almost a third (30 percent) of so-called “lockdown dogs” exhibit such behaviour, (e.g. barking, whining or crying) when their owners leave for work.

The Northern Echo: Dogs have been showing increasing signs of separation anxiety (PA)Dogs have been showing increasing signs of separation anxiety (PA)

By contrast, this figure is halved (15 percent) for dogs that were part of the family prior to the pandemic.

In addition, 26 percent of lockdown dog owners reported that their dogs become increasingly fearful upon their owners leaving for work.

This figure decreases to 21 percent for pre-pandemic dogs — further emphasising that dogs brought home during the pandemic are more likely to struggle with separation anxiety when left alone. 

YuMOVE has a number of ways to help you deal with this issue.

Tips to prepare your dog for being home alone

1. If you’re working from home, encourage your dog to settle whilst you’re busy, and then provide stimulation during your breaks. 

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2. Plan time apart. Start small such as a quick walk to the shops or even sitting in a separate room, but be sure to reward your dog after to ensure it’s a positive experience. 

3. Create a safe space for your dog to use when you’re not around. Make sure they feel both secure and happy by providing baskets, blankets, chew toys and puzzle-feeders.  

4. Begin to introduce a back-to-work routine by ensuring playtimes, exercise and meals are provided at regular times. 

5. Try not to keep your dog by your side throughout the whole day. Allow them access to different rooms where they can be alone and entertain themselves.