Humans cannot wait for when the coronavirus quarantining ends. However, canine experts and animal behaviorists say though it may seem good for humans, their companion animals may be left with an extreme separation anxiety when their fur-parents finally return to work.
“With such an overload of quality time with their families, dogs are building up a huge reservoir of over-dependency,” Roger Mugford, animal psychology, told the Times. He is known as the Queen Elizabeth’s corgis trainer.
He added that pampered pooches can “suffer when mums and dads suddenly return to work and the children go back to school,” as they have been too accustomed to having their fur-mily always at home.
“Dogs thrive on consistency and predictability, as we all do, so any time there’s an abrupt change, it can cause stress,” Dr. Karen Sueda, veterinary behaviorist, told Insider.
Sudden changes can result to dogs’ erratic behaviors, which may include defecating, urinating, howling, chewing or trying to escape, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 20 percent to 40 percent of dogs in North America are diagnosed with separation anxiety even if they have not been isolating with their owners.
While there is no remedy for separation anxiety for canines, dog experts advise getting them acclimated first to separation prior to the end of the lockdown.
“Allow your pet to have some alone time,” Dr. Sueda said. “You have your space, and they have theirs.”
“It’s a gradual process of using small absences that start to teach the dog that absences are safe,” added Malena DeMartini-Price, a separation anxiety specialist.
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