After weeks at home due to coronavirus restrictions most of us are now heading back to work. This is a big change for your hound, who has no doubt become used to spending all day hanging out with you! You may have noticed that hounds are creatures of habit, in fact, you being home all of the time all of a sudden may have thrown them off too! Here are some tips to help your furry friend adjust to the new normal.
Build up alone time
Going from 24/7 with you to a full work day all by their lonesome is a big change! Build up slowly by popping out for short bursts to get your hound used to it. In some cases you may need to start from scratch and stick to short intervals of 30 seconds, building up to one minute, then two minutes and so on. Being alone is a skill that a hound needs to learn just like any other. When you leave and come home don’t make a big deal about it, the more chilled you are about your comings and goings the more chilled your hound will be! Making it a normal part of the day and nothing to get overexcited about will help ease the transition. You can also help them to get used to being away from you by having them spend some time on an activity in another room while you’re doing your own thing.
Give them a job to do
Enrichment should be a key part of your hound’s day. If they have something to work on while you’re out then the time will pass more quickly, and it will help to prevent them from making their own fun. There are plenty of commercially available enrichment tools, or you can DIY with some bits and pieces from around the house such as egg cartons and toilet rolls. Check our our online store for some fabulous enrichment tools.
Creatures of habit
Meal time, walkies, naps, play time and enrichment are all key parts of your hound’s routine. Rather than changing the whole game overnight, try to establish the “new normal” early and get your hound into a predictable routine. When they know what’s coming up and can rely on getting their kicks and will be more relaxed in general.
Comfort is key
If your hound has become accustomed to chilling with you on the couch all day long it’s pretty uncool to turf them out to the backyard for hours on end. If possible, let them have access to the creature comforts. If you do need to put them outdoors it is imperative that they have a comfortable, warm, and dry place to chill. Again, get them used to spending time there gradually and make is a positive experience from the outset. Beofre you leave for the day make sure that they are dressed for the weather conditions.
It’s not naughty
If your hound does act out, be mindful that they’re not misbehaving intentionally. All behaviour is communication, and your hound is trying to tell you something. If you think your grey will need more stimulation during the day then why not see if a friend or neighbour can pop in to break up the day, or engage a dog walker to help. Prevention is better than cure, but if you do find that your houndie is having trouble adjusting seek advice from a force-free trainer or your veterinarian.