Sign In

Could dogs face extreme separation anxiety after lockdown is lifted

April 22, 2020

Spending every waking minute of the day with a human is every dog’s dream. But when coronavirus lockdown ends, canines will have to adjust back to ‘normal life’ without constant companionship – which could lead to problems. Queen Elizabeth II’s corgi trainer has spoken out about how dogs may experience ‘extreme separation anxiety’ after lockdown ends, due to the fact they’ve become overly-dependent on humans. Speaking to The Times, Dr Roger Mugford – an animal psychologist used by the royal family – explained: ‘With such an overload of quality time with their families, dogs are building up a huge reservoir of over-dependency which could see them suffer when mums and dads suddenly return to work and the children go back to school.’

He says that pets could show this distress in a number of ways – from chewing furniture, barking, going to the toilet inside or, in more severe cases, ‘self-harm’. Dr Mugford advises that the best way to prepare for lockdown is to get them used to short intervals apart – this could be just 30 minutes to start with. He also suggests placing a webcam in your house to see how your dog responds when left alone. But pets are not the only ones enjoying company. With anxiety on the rise, due to the global pandemic, many of us humans are turning to our four-legged friends for emotional support and comfort. Pet adoption has also risen, as a result of coronavirus. Dr Mugford says it’s important to get these pets ready for life after lockdown, as many will have a ‘huge shock’ once restrictions are lifted.  He urges that periods of separation – starting small and working up to longer spurts – are the best way to help prepare them.

Rachel Casey, director of canine behaviour and research at Dogs Trust agrees that lockdown could trigger anxiety problems for dogs. She urges people to try and get their animals ready for ‘normal life’. She said: ‘Now is the time to act to avoid future problems – and it’s easy to do. ‘Just make sure that you factor in time apart from your dog each day to help them be able to cope when alone – this could be separated from you by a door or child gate for an hour or two whilst you’re working or home schooling the kids. ‘By organising your dog’s day, with time apart, play times, exercise, other activity sessions (like giving them a food filled toy) and quiet times, you can make sure that your dog maintains their ability to cope with the different aspects of “normal” life when we get back to it.’

 

 

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Oscar The Blind Dog

    In the weeks leading up to a heated presidential election, another close race played out that had dog lovers across the country faithfully voting online every 24 hours for their favorite furry friends. For four weeks, from Sept. 10 to Oct. 9, nearly 1 million votes were cast in Garden & Gun magazine’s Good Dog […]

    Read more

    Genius Dog Challenge

    Six dogs are competing to become the world’s smartest dog – a title reserved for the pooch that learns words the fastest. Shany Dror is a driving force behind the Genius Dog Challenge, which is live streamed on Facebook and YouTube every week until December 16, when the winner will be announced. The canine challenge […]

    Read more

    Finding Homes For Dogs

    Adoptable Animal Rescue Force gives back to the community by finding the right homes for dogs. We’ve been a Teller County nonprofit, no-kill rescue since 1999. Social networking has allowed us to expand our services in recent years to include dogs coming in from high kill shelters in New Mexico and Texas. There are times […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Retiring

    Talking to police or giving testimony at a courthouse, can be a scary experience for many. Since 2014, service dogs have been allowed in the courtroom to provide emotional support for those in need. For Emery Baert, having Madison with her made a huge difference. “If she wasn’t there, to this day, I wouldn’t know […]

    Read more

    A Shelter Dog's Life

    The sound of paws and claws precedes Isabella’s entrance. She bursts out of the Worcester Animal Rescue League’s front door, dragging Sara McClure, WARL’s dog program coordinator, behind her. McClure has two hands on Izzy’s bright red leash as the pit bull mix comes barreling into the parking lot. McClure motions for me to take […]

    Read more

    Veterans Court Therapy Dog

    Howard County Superior Court II Judge Brant Parry stood in his courtroom last week and looked around like he had lost something. “You want to see her?” he asked, still looking around the mostly empty room. A few moments later, a brown fluff of fur came bounding through an open back door, prompting instant smiles […]

    Read more