For a dog, this is the scariest part of the morning: watching his or her owner scrambling out of the door, waiting silently for the day alone. But beginning in the spring of 2020, dogs from all over the world who had been eager to stare out suddenly found themselves curled up under the table at the feet of their owners, and heard the chatter of Zoom calls from above. We agreed to their request for a morning walk-and abdominal massage at noon.
Many pet owners say their dogs have Got all the extra attention during the pandemic, According to a new study Applied Animal Behavior ScienceResearchers collected data from nearly 700 dog owners in 32 countries, many of whom reported that their dogs “seek close contact more frequently and are more playful.” Professor of the Polish Academy of Sciences and lead author of the new paper Tadeusz Jezierski said. Paper.
As a result, more than a year after the pandemic, a new breed of dog has become accustomed to 24 hours of company. The surge in dog adoptions during the COVID closure also means that there is a wave of new pets who never stay alone all day. So, how will dogs adapt when the world opens up again?
If you meet every request of your dog during the pandemic, they will continue to make the same request, saying Alan Lindel, A veterinary behaviorist practicing in New York and Connecticut. She said the question now is, what will happen when this situation changes? “When we stay away from this close contact, dogs prone to separation anxiety will have problems,” said Lindel, who is also the president of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. “The most common character problem for dogs is frustration-in the past year, dogs don’t need to be frustrated. They will always receive attention.”
When humans leave the house, the dog will feel frustrated by the loss of immediate feedback from the owner, which manifests itself in various unwelcome behaviors. They might get angry because they didn’t get the extra walking, but started pacing. They may feel frustrated because they didn’t get a hug from Zoom, so they started barking. They might miss the game time at noon and start tearing up armchairs instead. They may even look for you around the house or property, and when they realize that you are not there, they will try to escape.
The frustration of dogs who were nearby before COVID may be exacerbated by quarantine whipping: alone, then together, then alone again. This can sometimes lead to a comeback of previously cured separation anxiety disorder. For pandemic puppies who don’t know what loneliness is, sudden changes may trigger the first wave of anxiety. Whether they were adopted before or after COVID, shelter pets are often traumatized by separation from their former owner and may relive that trauma.
So what should the dog owner do? Lindel said that the most fundamental thing is that the owner must give their dog a chance to settle down. A dog must experience solitude again-Lindel said, the key is to let them touch it purposefully.
“When dogs say it’s time to eat or play again, say’no, thank you’ so they will get used to you not succumbing to every request,” she suggested. If you know that the dog will stay somewhere in the house when you are not at home, start letting the dog relax there even if you are at home, but put yourself in another room. “It tells the dog,’I’m nearby, but you can’t approach me completely,'” Lindel said.
Then proceed to establish a separate exposure. Arrange the house as if you are still nearby, and then go out. “Leave the TV on and the lights on-so, at first, the only thing that changes is you, not their environment,” Lindel said.
Dogs are animals with habits. If they have a strict daily life, this will make it more difficult for dogs to cope with changes. Lindell said to leave randomly and let them stay alone for a period of time at different times of the day. Basically, you are trying to create a dog that can adapt because our owner has experienced Yo-Yo COVID restrictions and evolving safety protocols, especially as the Delta variant expands its reach.
For many of us, our dogs help us cope with foreign lifestyles under COVID-19. Jezierski said that 65% of respondents in his study said that their dogs were less nervous during the pandemic. When we humans leave our homeland again, it is time to support these loyal friends, whether it means adapting them to the new normal or helping them adapt to unpredictable situations.