How Will COVID-19 Affect Dog Anxiety?

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A black and brown dog playing with his owner outside
Dr. Sara Ochoa author of How Will COVID-19 Affect Dog Anxiety?

Once the world was infected with COVID-19 and everyone’s started working from home and staying home a lot more, our dogs and cats learned to love their new life with their owners always around.

Now that things are starting to open back up, and people are starting to return to their normal routine. Our dogs and cats are now wondering why we are leaving them at home more. This may have led to separation anxiety in your dog.  

There are many things that you can do to help your dog realize it is okay to stay at home alone without dealing with anxiety issues.


What is COVID-19 

COVID 19 is the name for the new coronavirus that was first seen starting in late 2019. This new virus was highly contagious and quickly spread around the world. This virus spreads via coughing and breathing and has led to terms like “Social Distancing” to discuss how much space should be between individuals to limit the spread of this virus.

This virus has been very difficult to treat since there is no vaccine. It has caused a shortage in several things like medicines and respirators due to a lack of funding and treatment available. This virus has forced many large businesses to have employees work from home and people being without a job. Pet owners in larger cities have been staying at home most of the time, causing a different relationship with pets.


COVID-19 and Separation Anxiety 

Since most pet owners are spending more time around the house, as well as spending more quality time with their dogs, these pets will develop a further attachment to their humans. When people start to return to work and life returns to normal, some of these dogs may develop separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety can manifest in the following ways:

  • Destructive behavior like chewing and breaking of objects
  • Whining and crying
  • Aggressive behavior to those that are not the favorite human

If you notice any of these behaviors in your dog, it would be best to try to start to train them to stay at home by themselves.  


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What is Separation Anxiety? 

Your dog may develop an attachment to a certain person that they live with and will have anxiety when they are not around. These behaviors are exhibited by acting out, often with anxiety and crying or destructive behavior when separated from their human.  

There are things you can try, such as training or supplements, to help your dog with separation anxiety. CBD oil is a great supplement that you can give your dog to help keep them calm while you are gone and treat their separation anxiety.  

Dog and human anxiety

Most dogs will mirror the anxiety of their humans as a learned behavior. They will sense that their owner is stressed, and this stress will be contagious between human owners and their dogs. This will lead to discomfort in your animals. You and your dog can benefit highly from spending time together, regardless of moods that your or your dog is in. Many times this time together will help keep everyone calm and decrease everyone’s stress level.  


Separation Anxiety Training

At first, you can start to leave your dog at home for just a few minutes. This may be to go outside to the mailbox and back. Slowly increase the time that you are gone but 5 minutes each time. At first, you will just be getting ready, walking outside just like you are about to leave for work, and after a few minutes coming back inside. Slowly start to make short trips around the block.  

As you increase this time, your dog will slowly learn that it is okay to be left alone at home. Make leaving and coming home fun by giving your dog a tasty treat or a Kong Toy filled with peanut butter to keep them entertained.  


COVID-19 and CBD OIL 

When people start to go back to work, most dogs will experience a little bit of separation anxiety if they spent a lot of time with their owners during the quarantine time. There are various natural drug treatments like CBD oil that can help keep your dog calm during these transition times. 

Most dogs can be trained to be comfortable on their own with a dedicated owner.  If you have a lot of trouble with your dog with separation anxiety, it would be best to consult a veterinarian about COVID-19 issues and separation anxiety before any form of treatment.

If you are just starting to return to normal, make sure that your dog is also able to ease back into the normal routine.  Giving them treats, CBD oils, and a little training, and your dog can easily adjust to returning to normal life. 


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Meet The Author 

Dr. Sara Ochoa author of How Will COVID-19 Affect Dog Anxiety?

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM

Since she was a little girl, she knew that her dream was to become a veterinarian. With a tremendous passion and love for animals that makes her a great source of knowledge for others. She lives happily with her husband Greg and her babies Ruby the Schnoodle, and Bam-Bam the bunny.