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Many dogs struggling with separation anxiety as owners return to work

Many people are struggling with anxiety when it comes to returning to the workforce post-pandemic. Their dogs are likely dealing with a similar issue.

"They're not happy that they're being left alone," said local dog trainer Kat Todd. "They start acting out, they pace, they bark, they tear things up."

In her over 20 years of experience, she's never seen anything like this.

"When the owner brings the dog to me, I have to work through the anxiety before I can start the actual training for basic commands," said Todd. "Sometimes it takes me two days before I can even start the training."

If your dog is struggling with anxiety, Todd suggests implementing a schedule to build up their confidence. This would include their feeding, walking, and playtime schedule. Giving them consistency. Also, start by leaving your dog alone in small increments of time like 10 or 15 minutes. You can add more time from there as your dog gets more comfortable.

"You want to make sure that when you leave and when you return, that's a very positive experience for the dog," Todd said. "What I mean by that is you want to use a high value tree. I like chicken."

Todd said lots of dogs were adopted during the pandemic and haven't been used to being without their owners for long periods of time. They've rarely socialized with other dogs or people outside their home.

"Don't go to the dog park where there are 15 dogs. Do a doggy playdate and have your friend come over with one dog and get them acclimated," said Todd.

Todd is going to have training for dogs to help them overcome their anxiety. You can click here to find out more about the training classes offered.

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.

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