5 Tips to Prep Pets for a Post Covid World

5 Ways to Prep Your Pets for a Post-Covid World

With California’s re-opening date now set for June 15, chances are we will all be leaving the house (and our pets) more often in the coming months than we have in the whole last year. Woods University Behavior & Training Department urges pet owners to start preparing your pets now to make the eventual transition easier on them—and you!

Here are 5 top tips for easing pets into a post-Covid lifestyle, which you can start using today. Want more tips? Sign up for our free, live webinar on this topic, on May 20, 2021 at 4 p.m., or check out our Training Tip Thursday on Instagram, Facebook, or Youtube.

1. Keep a Work-Week Routine

Dogs love routine. Start preparing them for the back-to-work life by creating a daily schedule that you will be able to keep up even when you’re back in the office. Set a breakfast time, morning walk time, dinner time, evening walk time and play or enrichment time for each day, and then stick to your schedule—whether you are home, or heading in to work each day.

2. Incorporate Crate Training

Worried your dog will tear up the house the first day you leave him alone? Get started now by easing your dog into crate training so that you have an option for limiting the dog’s space (and damage) for short periods once you need to leave him unattended. Remember: the crate should be a place your dog loves. Don’t force a dog into the crate or lock them up as punishment. Start by giving meals, treats, bones, and Kongs exclusively in the crate, leaving the door open for the dog to go in and out. Eventually, the crate will become his favorite place to go for a little “me time.”  For more tips on crate training, click here.

3. Try Supervised Separation

If your dog panics the moment you’re out of sight, work up to separation by starting with brief periods of supervised separation. At first, just step outside or into another room calmly, and return calmly. Then, add short periods of solitude throughout the day; while you shower or eat lunch, put the dog in another room separated by a baby gate, in its crate, or in the backyard. These brief stints will help the dog build up tolerance for being alone and apart from you, and teach him that you will return. 

4. Drain Energy with Mental Challenges

A tired dog is much more likely to relax in the house while you’re away than a dog with loads of mental and physical energy. Utilize puzzle feeders and Kongs for breakfast, so that eating becomes a mentally stimulating activity. Add challenges to the morning walk by incorporating short training sessions and canine parkour (like jumping up on short retaining walls or benches) to help tire out your dog’s mind so that they feel fulfilled and ready for a nap while you’re away. 

5. Eliminate Access to Problem Areas

If your dog tends to bark throughout the day at passersby, reduce his access to locations where he can hear and see those stimuli. Block window views with clinging privacy film, screens or shades, or if he barks in the yard, keep the dog indoors while you’re away to curb barking. Consider playing some soft classical music to help him tune out stressful street noise. 

Looking for more assistance? Contact our Training Department at (805) 543-9316 ext. 24. Or email us with a question for a future Training Tip Thursday.


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