How to combat post-quarantine separation anxiety in dogs once coronavirus pandemic subsides

Once stay-at-home-restrictions are lifted and humans start going about their daily lives again, dogs are going to be very confused.

Steve Dale, a certified animal behavior consultant, said dog owners need to plan for this change.

"Suddenly, the dogs don't get the email that it's back to work or whatever that new normal is ... I'm concerned we're going to see a lot of separation anxiety," he said.

Not all dogs will react the same. Here's how owners can address dogs with different needs:

Dogs with previous separation anxiety
Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their owners leave the house. Dale suggests these owners be proactive and use the tools they have at their disposal, such as:
  • Pheromone products
  • Probiotics
  • Nutraceutical products
  • Comfort vest

Dogs without previous separation anxiety
Other dogs enjoy the company of their humans but also like a little time alone. Dale said owners should look out for any developing signs of anxiety. Signs of separation anxiety include:

  • Dogs howling or crying when their owners leave their homes

  • Housetrained dogs having accidents

  • Dogs digging at the door, perhaps as a way to try to escape.

Newly adopted dogs
Dale said young dogs are quick learners, and owners can use this to their advantage.

"For dogs that were recently adopted or are in foster, here's what you do: Go take a walk without the dog. If you can, set up a camera or leave treats out all over. If the dog gobbles up those treats, it's a good sign that the dog wasn't anxious."
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