Separation Anxiety While Working From Home

May 13, 2020

If you have made the switch to working from home, it’s important to consider the impact this change in routine may have on your foster or adopted greyhound. Your grey is surely loving having you at home and probably wants to follow you everywhere like a long, goofy shadow. But this shadowing behaviour is not cute!

Enabling your grey to become a “Velcro dog” can lead to attachment issues and separation anxiety when you eventually return to work and leave them at home for longer periods. Separation anxiety is more than just an over-excited greyhound when you come and go from the house, it can lead to destructive behaviour, increased whining and barking, escape behaviours and even a loss of the ability to spend time alone.

Here are some ideas to keep your dog entertained while you’re working from home and make the adjustment a little bit easier.

Keep a Routine

This is arguably the most important aspect of helping your greyhound adjust to you being at home more often. Greyhounds thrive on routine, so try and maintain your daily routine as much as possible. Keep mealtimes the same for your grey, and keep their walks to the same time of day too. The physical exercise will help to tire them out so it is great for first thing in the morning if you can, and is a great excuse to get yourself out of the house (still observing social distancing of course)!

Exercise

Walking, and play are great ways to stimulate your greyhound. A walk doesn’t have to be long to be effective, letting your dog sniff everything along the way on a shorter walk gets them using their brain and can be just as tiring as a long walk. You can also try training sessions to keep them mentally stimulated, but be sure to keep these sessions short to maintain their attention and prevent frustration.

Keep Arrivals and Departures Low-key

It is very important to make your arrivals and departures from the home an unexciting event, as this will help prevent stress to your greyhound when you do have to leave the house. It’s important that no matter how long you’re gone for, they know you’re coming back!

Practice Alone Time

Your greyhound must have some alone time even if you are at home, to help ease the transition when you return to work. Put them outside for increasing periods of time, and if needed, practice leaving the house and pay attention to their reaction. Shut the door to the room you’re working in so the greyhound can’t follow you and return to them without a fuss.

Give Them Something To Do

Enrichment is so important to keep your greyhound mentally stimulated and distracted from anything that could cause them stress, including your absence. After all, if you were left in a room with nothing to do for hours, you would be bored too! A bored dog can lead to a destructive dog! Try scattering your grey’s dry food to create some scent work for them, hide treats around the yard, or use a food dispenser. Food dispensers don’t have to be expensive, and there are some great DIY options including toilet rolls, or you can use egg cartons, and bottles. Leaving them alone with a slow-chew treat such as a raw marrowbone, dried tendon chew or pig’s ear is also a great option to keep them occupied. If your grey likes toys, leave them with a selection of their favourites, and try leaving the radio on for some ambient sound. Remember when giving your dogs treats like these not to try to take them away from them upon your return as this can result in the development of resource guarding behaviours.

By following just a few of these tips above you will be able to help your greyhound to adjust to the various changes that your lifestyle is going through while preventing the development of ongoing behavioural issues like separation anxiety.

If you’re ready to welcome your new greyhound family member of your own visit the Foster and Adopt pages to find out more!

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