Return to normality strikes worry in dog owners

With the roadmap out of lockdown preparing people for a return to normality, recent research indicates that 83% of pet owners are anxious about the return to work and leaving their dog at home alone.

Yet preparations have begun, with 95% of dog owners having already started thinking about how they will manage the process of leaving their dog on its own for longer periods of time.

More than two thirds (68%) state that they’ve already engaged in talks with their boss about more flexible working options, whilst others are exploring setting up a baby cam to keep an eye on their pets (14%), or even considering a second pet to keep them company (7%)!

This is particularly surprising given that one in five owners that bought or adopted a puppy during lockdown regretted their decision or found it much harder than they thought.

The survey was commissioned by Natures Menu, the UK’s leading expert in raw and natural pet food, to support the launch of series two of its Pupcast – a podcast which provide advice for pet owners.

Featuring dog behavioural expert and puppy trainer Kerry Ward, AKA the Fairy Dog Mother, episode one discusses techniques that pet owners can put in place to prepare man’s best friend for the upcoming changes, and how you can spot signs of anxiety.

With 79% of dog owners claiming they had experienced a change in their dog’s behaviour due to a lack of socialisation, with shifts such as becoming more wary around other dogs, clinginess and a lack of excitement when it came to walks, it’s a key time to start preparations.

Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education Manager at Natures Menu, said: “Whilst many of us have enjoyed having more time at home, spending quality time with our dogs, this can lead to concern for pets, and owners alike, as we target a return to normality. It’s understandable why so many owners are concerned about the major shift to leaving their pets home alone, especially those who purchased a puppy during lockdown, as having company 24/7 has become all they’re used to. That’s why it’s so important that owners start implementing techniques now to ensure a smooth transition without causing anxiety for their dogs.”

Episode one of series two of the Pupcast is now available to listen to on all major podcast channel providers: