Dogs Trust Ireland warn dogs could face "heartbreak" and "separation anxiety" when lockdown ends
Our poor little dogs.
Dogs Trust Ireland has warned dog owners to keep in mind that their canine pals could face separation anxiety when the lockdown eventually comes to an end.
As containment measures have hit all non-essential workers, causing mass unemployment and leaving many others working from home, people have been spending more time than ever with their dogs.
While this has probably been a lovely comfort to most people (and dogs), the charity fears that the creatures may become overwhelmed with anxiety when we all return to work/school/whatever it is we used to do outside our houses.
The charity has advised that dog owners try to maintain a similar routine with their dogs as they had before the lockdown began. For example, Dogs Trust says "it is important to have as normal a routine as possible and you should try to keep to your dog’s usual routine of walking and feeding times.
"Dogs should be allowed to spend periods of time not in direct human company, even if this means you being in another room or you are upstairs, and they are downstairs."
There are currently no signs that lockdown will end in any meaningful sense, though the government will confirm whether restrictions will be eased on 5 May.
Becky Bristow, Executive Director, Dogs Trust Ireland, outlined the charity's concerns in detail, noting that the circumstances of Covid-19 could create a lot of problems for dog-owners down the line:
"Last year, we received over 2,300 requests from members of the public wanting to surrender their dog to us," she said.
"We are extremely worried that this figure could significantly increase this year if lots of dogs develop separation anxiety and become potentially unmanageable for their owners.
"Anxious dogs can panic when you leave, causing them to become destructive and damage your home, they can also bark and howl.
"We are also worried that some people have rushed out and impulse bought puppies because they knew they would be at home for a few weeks. However, they may not have the time to commit to them when they return to work."