As the nation begins to return to office life following the COVID-19 pandemic, research from Nature’s Variety, has found that one in three Brits would take a day off work sick if their pet is unwell.
The findings have been revealed as part of this International Dog Day (26th August) to address pet owner worries about leaving their dog at home. And after 3.2 million people became pet parents during lockdown, it’s no surprise that the return to a more normal work life is set to cause a disruption at home.
Interestingly, a whopping third of Brits put their pet’s health above their own. 20% would even want to take their pet with them to the office, showcasing just how much of a lifeline our furry friends have been to us throughout the last year of lockdowns.
Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education Manager for Nature’s Variety, said: “Now that the UK is out of lockdown, it’s so important to remember the effect this can have on our dogs. They’ve become so used to having us around all the time, but now everything has changed. And with the number of new dog owners skyrocketing, some young dogs have only ever known their owner being home.
“If your dog is feeling poorly and you feel that you need to stay home with them, it’s so important to consider food as a potential factor. A natural and nutritious diet is an essential for a dog – choose foods with quality ingredients such as real meats, vegetables, fruits botanicals and superfoods, no aggressive processes or artificial nasties.”
For those dogs suffering with separation anxiety, Kerry Ward, AKA the FairyDogMother, recommends:
- Build up leaving them alone – I don’t think there’s a dog out there that isn’t a little disappointed when we leave the house, but they must learn to become okay with being left home alone. Start out by making it fun for your puppies with games, then gradually build it up – leave them alone in a room, then in the house and look to increase the timescale each time. The key thing however with all of this is not to make leaving become a big deal – quietly walk out and come back in. If you put a full leaving routine in place, it can cause anxiety in your pet before you’ve even left. As we look to return to work, start the process now by setting up your office in another room, or going and watching a film elsewhere in the house.
- Set your puppy up for success with SAFE training – When leaving your puppy, you should be aiming for four key things – sleepy, all played out, a full tummy and an empty bladder. Those things combined will ensure they’re ready to relax at home on their own, they’ve had enough mental and physical stimulation and they’re not in search of food.
- Become an expert in your dog’s body language – Learn what your pet looks like when they are happy, relaxed, anxious, curious or playful. Understanding your dog will allow you to read situations. It’s also worthwhile investing in a camera for when your dog is home alone so you can monitor their behaviour and learn of any pressure points throughout the day.