Returning to daily life after the vacations are over is stressful for everyone, but it is especially so for our four-legged pets.
After entire summer days spent together with their humans and doing many new and engaging activities together, dogs suddenly find themselves alone in the house for hours at a time, bored and depressed about returning to everyday life.
Dog’s attitudes that indicate his reentry stress
Inhibition and agitation are the most frequent and obvious attitudes in the stressed dog.
The inhibited dog remains still and isolated in one spot in the house as if waiting for something.
In contrast, the agitated dog manifests its discomfort with abnormal crying, howling or barking.
He may also manifest his discomfort through abnormal urination and defecation in the house.
Depressed and bored dogs. What to do?
Your four-legged friend will need a few days to get over this phase of anxiety and stress, but in the meantime, you can ease the return to old habits with a few tricks.
First and foremost, it would be good to maintain the good habit of taking long walks and spending proper time for unhurried and enthusiastic play and interactions with the dog.
It is true that work schedules impose tight rhythms, but carving out time for yourself and your four-legged friend should be a norm not only on vacations but throughout the year.
Chewing games or long-lasting snacks help reduce the dog’s stress as does resorting to different strategies in feeding him.
Use the kong or hide his food by inducing him to search for it: stimulating the dog’s olfactory search, reduces his stress and gratifies him.
Above all, don’t expect everything to return to its usual pace in the snap of a finger.
After all, come to think of it, if the dog’s return home is a bit problematic, you alone are to blame for totally disrupting his habits.
You can avoid your dog’s re-entry stress as early as during your vacation
To facilitate a smooth re-entry, you can adopt two strategies in advance:
- avoid spending 24 hours a day with the dog: in daily life you will no longer be able to be with him day and night, and this may destabilize him
- his comfort zone with his kennel and the toys he normally entertains himself with when he is home alone: the “travel kit” will make him experience the change and subsequent return less traumatically
- Maintain the frequency and pace of walks: scanning his daily routine normally will be preparatory to a calm and peaceful reentry
Most importantly, the first rule to put in place applies to us humans as well: avoid returning from vacation the night before returning to the office or school.
Rather, anticipate your return by a couple of days during which you and your four-legged friend can resume the ordinary rhythms you are used to experiencing without abrupt impacts with city life.
If you would like the advice of an experienced Veterinarian in Animal Behavior, contact our specialists and book an appointment.
We also remind you that in case of need and urgency Clinica La Veterinaria is always open h24 every day including holidays and with First Aid service from 8 pm to 8 am.
For the joy of seeing them HAPPY