Things can easily change in a heartbeat. People lose their jobs, get sick, or move homes. Emergencies, disasters, global crises, and pandemics may be rare, but they can also take place, calling for specific actions to be done or decisions to be made.
Humans can adjust and learn to adapt to any situation. But the same cannot be said of dogs.
Canines can be ultra-sensitive to changes. They can become anxious and stressed, and this may cause them to bark excessively or exhibit destructive behaviors. Because of these reasons, dogs need help transitioning to any changes in their routine – whether it involves mealtimes, playtimes, a person leaving, or staying longer, among others.
Given changes are inevitable, what can you do to prevent dogs from exhibiting negative behavior? Let our experts help. Specializing in pet food delivery services, our professionals share a few tips for making any significant changes to his routine easier for your dog.
Take it slow
Switching shifts at work from daytime to graveyard can be hard on the body and mind. Medical personnel, call center agents, grocery store personnel and security staff are accustomed to changing shifts now and then, but even they know it takes time to adjust to the new schedule.
With dogs, try to ease them into the change as gradually as you possibly can. Let’s say you need to be away for work. As soon as you find out your upcoming work schedule, make plans to slowly get your pets used to you being away for longer periods.
Start by going to another room for a few minutes to do chores. If your pooch does not show any distress, work your way towards increasing this separation time.
Try leaving home for a few hours to do the groceries or watch a movie. Do it more regularly by picking a day of the week when you leave the house. The aim is to gradually lengthen the amount of time until your dog no longer frets when you are gone.
By gradually incorporating the change, the hope is that your dog becomes less stressed or anxious. Doing it this way also makes them less likely to destroy your possessions while you are away.
Make the change insignificant
Dogs can tell when something is up and will feed off of other people’s emotions. As much as possible, do not make a big deal out of the situation.
It could be as minor as going out for a jog. On the other hand, you may feel depressed after saying goodbye to your child who is off to college. The last thing you want to do is to grab your dog when you are angry, sad, stressed, or to mark a significant event.
Stay calm, as much as possible, regardless of what is going on around you. This can be difficult when you are overcome with grief or emotion, or when you are just happy to see your dog. Showing extreme emotion makes it harder for your dog to stay calm and relaxed.
If you need to leave the house, do it as you normally would. Do not greet your dog before you go or after you come back. By ignoring your dog for a few minutes, it will not think of your departure as being unusual.
Create a distraction
Divert your four-legged friend’s attention away from you leaving towards another activity. Perhaps you can devise a game such as hiding treats in a specific room. Another popular distraction involves toys.
Among the many types of dog care products in our shop in Dubai, the ones fur parents commonly splurge on include outfits and toys. Toys come in many forms, designs, colors, and purposes. Some require interaction with the parent, while others allow the pet to use the gadget by itself.
Puzzle toys chew toys, and treat-dispensing types are the ideal distractions for your pet. They can keep your pooch busy for hours, which is what you want. On the other hand, your dog may have too much fun with the toy that your pet may look forward to you leaving home.
Follow the established schedule
You don’t need to be physically away for your dog to feel stressed. Being mentally and emotionally distant can also yield similar results. Even a change in the way you do things can have an impact.
It doesn’t even have to be a negative change. For instance, getting married or having a baby often call for a celebration. But for dogs, such situations can be negative ones, especially if such circumstances change the way you usually do things. Indirectly, they can make your dog feel neglected.
Uphold your responsibilities towards your canine as best as you can, even when life and your priorities change. Feed your dog, play with him, and take him out for walks and potty breaks, as close to the usual schedule as possible.
Do practice runs
In the case of a new addition to the home, such as a baby, begin months before the baby arrives. Perhaps you can start moving your dog’s crate or designate a new area where he should sleep.
Practice activities you may need to do, such as walking an empty stroller, changing a toy baby, and feeding it. Play baby sounds or sprinkle small amounts of baby powder around the house. Playing house is a game you can use to get your dog accustomed to the prospect of a new being coming into your lives.
Perform these on top of your responsibilities towards your dog. The aim is to make your dog feel included, even with the changes. A few weeks before taking the baby home, you may need to start reducing the amount of play and attention as well to make it appear closer to the norm.
Life is filled with changes, both good and bad. But compared to humans, dogs are less flexible when it comes to making adjustments. As a fur parent, you need to help your furry friend get through these changes.
Our experts have provided these tips to make the adjustment period less daunting and challenging for both you and your canine pal. Follow their advice to make your canine as much a part of your life as possible no matter what happens.
- Farah Al-Khojai
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet's Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.