Dogs could suffer major 'separation anxiety' once lockdown ends, says expert

pets 24/04/2020

An animal psychologist has warned while our four-legged friends might be full of happiness that we're spending time at home, it could provide quite a bit of distress for them when the lockdown is over and we return to normal.

Dr Roger Mugford, a consultant for the Royal Family, warned dog owners that pets might experience separation anxiety once we return to work and school.

Speaking to The Times, he said: "With such an overload of quality time with their families, dogs are building up a huge reservoir of over-dependency which could see them suffer when mums and dads suddenly return to work and the children go back to school."

"The lockdown is such a massive change in routine. When it’s lifted it’s going to be a huge shock for dogs. That’s why structured, short training periods of separation are really important."

Preparing your pup by introducing short "separation breaks" can be healthy, suggesting to put your dog in a separate room in the house for about 30 minutes at a time, several times a day will encourage them to get used to being on their own.

The risk of not preparing your dog may manifest into bad distressing habits such as howling, barking, pacing, urinating and defecating inside.