COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) – As thousands of Coloradans begin heading back to the office after weeks of working from home, their furry friends are likely to experience some shock.
Twenty to forty percent of dogs experience symptoms of separation anxiety, according to the Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.
KRDO met with Miguel Gonzalez, the behavioral programs manager at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, to learn how owners can try and ease the increased anxiety.
“It is a hot button topic right now in the dog training world,” Gonzalez told us.
He said the change will likely affect puppies and newly adopted dogs more than the others because they don’t know anything different.
“He knows that I got adopted, and that I’ve been home with you for a month now, and that it’s the best thing ever,” Gonzalez explained.
If you haven’t left home in a while, here’s a test you can do.
“You’re gonna get up, you’re gonna put your clothes on like you’re gonna go to work, maybe pop out real quick for a coffee, and then you’re gonna come back.” Gonzalez said you should see how your dog reacts.
He told us there are two common problems: anxiety and frustration.
Gonzales said, if your dog is merely frustrated you’re leaving him alone, try leaving treats and other distractions around the house when you’re gone. Or, hire a dog walker.
He said there’ll probably be some clear signs if your dog is battling separation anxiety. For example, your pup might damage points of entry in the house.
“Digging and destruction at the door, potentially at the windows,” Gonzales said.
If you’re concerned your dog suffers from separation anxiety, he said it’s best to take your furry friend to a certified behavioral specialist for a diagnosis and possible treatment.
However, if you choose to go that route, Gonzales says it pays to do your homework.
“It is a highly unregulated industry, so doing some due diligence and checking certifications, and checking Facebook reviews, and all that sort of stuff is super important,” he said.