August 15, 2020
Many of us had to stay at home due to the ongoing pandemic, which means our dogs now get to enjoy more of our company. However, the time of dog owners’ return to work, their duties, and hobbies is getting close, and their dogs will stay at home alone. Therefore, we should start preparing our pets for the upcoming changes, so we won’t have a new pandemic, in this case “panzootic” of separation anxiety, to deal with.
A leading expert on dog separation anxiety, Dr. Zertova, has prepared a few helpful tips and exercises on how to prepare dogs for the pet owners' return to their duties and spending less time at home. You’ll also find a few tips on how the Barkio app can help you with the training.
Make sure to include unobtrusive exercises when the dog has to be isolated, at least symbolically, for a while during the day:
During little tasks, such as household chores, close your dog in a separate room. The dog won’t be in your way when cleaning, and it won’t dirty the just mopped floor. Make sure to make the dog’s alone time more enjoyable with a chewing bone or a stuffing toy.
If you exercise at home, divide the space between you and the dog with a barrier. The dog will have an overview of what’s going on, but it won’t be able to participate. Again, make its time alone more fun with a stuffing toy or a piece of fruit or vegetable (carrot, cucumber, sliced apple, or a cauliflower/broccoli stalk will work).
Leave the apartment or house at least a few times during the day. Prepare something interesting for the dog to chew so that it can look forward to its moments of solitude. Once you come home, give the dog a small treat from your pocket (so it looks like you just “hunted” that for your dog). Make sure to put the stuffing toy or any leftovers away so that the dog sees the treats as rare for the dog, and connects them with happy moments of solitude.
If the dog stays calm, you can gradually extend the time when the dog is left alone. If even a short period of solitude or separation is unbearable for the dog, you will have to proceed very, very slowly and thoroughly consolidate every little progress you and your dog reached.
Barkio app can help you with the solitude training and enables you to hear and see your dog when it’s alone. All you need are two devices (phone, tablet, computer) and the internet connection. One device stays at home with your dog, and you take the second device with you.
With Barkio, you always have your dog under the surveillance. You can use the app to practice solitude when leaving your dog alone for a short period of time (a few seconds at first), and observing the dog’s behavior.
With the app, you’ll hear your dog and see how it reacts, so you’ll be able to return immediately if the dog shows any signs of anxiety.
Barkio allows you to communicate with the dog remotely. Calm your dog through the microphone, prerecorded voice messages, and a two-way video.