Pampered pets will face a normality shock after the coronavirus lockdown. With their doting owners stuck at home all day, dogs are loving life in lockdown. But they will suffer from severe separation anxiety once social distancing measures are lifted, according to the Queen’s corgi trainer, Dr Roger Mugford, an animal psychologist, 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 normal routines return” he said. “When left alone, dogs can chew the house, annoy the neighbours by constantly barking, and exhibit other anti-social behaviours. Put a webcam on your dog and you’ll see howling and pacing and other distress signs.”
Human anxiety during the pandemic has led many owners to rely more on pets for comfort and emotional support, he added. “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.” Dr Mugford, suggested introducing short but frequent “separation breaks” to “self-isolate” dogs at home.