Midnight’s Musings

Each year, at the end of the summer, when kids return to school, we often notice a few short-lived behavioral issues with some dogs. Having the continued daily companionship of their human siblings for just a couple of months come to an end, leads some dogs to chew the corner of an area rug or rip open a couch pillow. These behaviors are mild and tend to subside within the first week. A year into the pandemic, I am concerned that dogs will experience what I am calling post pandemic canine syndrome once life returns to any semblance of normality. Based on the recent influx of reservations for pet care this upcoming Spring Break and summer, it seems that people are feeling optimistic about traveling. If just two months of continued companionship can lead to behaviors in dogs, what will a year do? I realize the pandemic is not over. However, I do think now is the time to start thinking about the future. This is doubly true for those who welcomed a new furry friend into their family during the pandemic. For those dogs (and cats), everyone home all the time is their normal. Can you imagine their surprise when left in an empty house all day? Overnight? What can be done? I suggest getting your dog accustomed to being alone. You may want or need to start small depending on your dog’s temperament–a family walk without the dog. Gradually, increase time away to several hours. If necessary, send your dog to daycare for the day to get him or her accustomed to being away from the family. If you plan to travel this summer, I encourage you to start preparing your pup now. This is especially important if your dog stays home when you travel and will be home overnight alone.  If your dog is not allowed on the furniture, he or she may be waiting for you to leave…so things can get back to normal. ?

Pet Care Loudoun County, Virginia