Missing your dogs while you’re at work? You might not be the only one

Lottie Twyford 14 May 2021 14

Unfortunately we can’t be with our dogs all the time. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Many of us might miss our dogs while at our work desks but did you know your furry friend might be feeling the same way?

And as some dog owners may have noticed, dogs that miss their owners too much or can’t cope with time alone can start engaging in destructive behaviour.

A new study from Royal Canin has shown that 52 per cent of dogs across Australia are now suffering from post-lockdown separation anxiety.

RSPCA ACT CEO Michelle Robertson says the organisation did note a decrease in animals surrendered during the height of ‘work from home’.

“This proves there is a COVID silver living that confirmed pets are happier and healthier when they spend more time with their owners.

“Anecdotally, we saw that animals were less likely to stray or be given up and surrendered to the RSPCA if their owners are spending more time with them working on behavioural needs,” she said.

However, for animals that spent much of the last year at home with their owners, it’s now been difficult for them to transition back to spending more time alone.

In the case of puppies who have only ever known life with owners at home 24/7, the sudden separation is now causing stress, anxiety and sometimes disruptive behaviour.

READ ALSO: RSPCA’s Pets of the Week – Marley, Biscuit and Snuggy

According to the study, some of these disruptive behaviours can include following you around the house, trying to leave with you, howling, barking, pacing or chewing and destroying things when they’re alone or even reacting to noises they wouldn’t normally react to when you’re home.

The same study showed that 37 per cent of dog owners do not feel as though they are adequately equipped to manage their pet’s separation anxiety.

Ms Robertson urged Canberra dog owners not to give up before trying to find solutions.

“Remember why you wanted a pet in the first instance – and please remember that all good things and relationships are worth investing in,” she said.

READ ALSO: Rowena’s monarch butterfly obsession takes flight

Likewise, the RSPCA is keen to remind people that most of the negative behaviours can be changed with love, time, patience and training.

Enrichment activities and interactive toys for dogs to engage in when they’re home alone or leaving a TV or radio on can all help combat these behaviours.

The RSPCA said dogs like classical music or other soothing sounds or an audio book. It can also be worthwhile to try and stick to a routine as much as possible, and when you do come and go, make it as ‘boring’ as possible.

However, if none of these tips nor working with an expert is helping, pet owners may have to let their pet go to a home where they can be with people all day.

“If for whatever reason you are not able to look after your pet the way that it should be, please do not use social media platforms to re-home and please don’t give your pets away to people you do not know,” Ms Robertson urged.

Instead, the RSPCA asks that you get in touch with them or another reputable rescue group.

If you are considering adopting a pet from the RSPCA in the ACT or are looking for more information, visit RSPCA ACT.

Alternatively, keep an eye out for the weekly Pets of the Week post from the RSPCA ACT on The RiotACT.

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14 Responses to Missing your dogs while you’re at work? You might not be the only one
LJ Oan LJ Oan 10:44 am 19 May 21

Kaija Murray for Doug

Josephina Dordevic Josephina Dordevic 6:34 am 18 May 21

Dragana Cvetkovski not alone.

    Dragana Cvetkovski Dragana Cvetkovski 10:25 pm 20 May 21

    Josephina Dordevic I know! It will be devastating leaving my Millie home alone 😞

Emma Jane Emma Jane 11:00 pm 17 May 21

Gretchen there’s really only two options, either wfh all the time or bring her to work.

Jack Horne Jack Horne 10:39 pm 17 May 21


Amy Wilson Amy Wilson 8:37 pm 17 May 21

Kyle Wilson Duke is not alone!! Good read.

Sirpa Fromm Sirpa Fromm 8:32 pm 17 May 21

My anxious cat used to overgroom and had bare backs on all 4 legs. I retired in March 3020 and within two months she had fully furred legs again 😂

Karen Brown Karen Brown 8:29 pm 17 May 21

There is always someone home at our place! A burglars nightmare and the dogs dream!!!

Johnny Lamarra Johnny Lamarra 6:55 pm 17 May 21

Treat your dog like a dog, not a baby or small child.

Pretty simple really 🤷

    Daniel Oyston Daniel Oyston 8:29 pm 17 May 21

    Johnny Lamarra fur babies 🙄🤦‍♂️

Josh Prucha Josh Prucha 6:49 pm 17 May 21

How do the dog’s participate in the survey? Do they need an email address or just a Facebook profile?? 😜

Stephen Crossley Stephen Crossley 5:03 pm 17 May 21

Are other people missing my dog? Am I missing other people's dogs? What sorcery is this!?!?!?

Tom Adam Tom Adam 5:00 pm 17 May 21

I take mine to work. 😉

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