The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me. It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!
THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.
TODAY: Sunny. High of 71. “A”
SUNDAY: Partly cloudy. High of 73. “A”
Now, here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer, with this week’s main blog.
Talk about your separation anxiety.
OK. Those are just scene-stealing moments and not signs of stress. But as we reported last week, with lockdowns ending (albeit gradually) and workers returning to their offices, dogs left behind are wondering, what just happened? What’s going on here? Their humans used to be around all day. Now they’re…gone.
That could mean a case of SRD. Separation-related distress. A crisis? Not exactly. But enough that public warnings are being disseminated by the media.
Dogs of all ages can get SRD. The more susceptible to SRD are dogs that are newly adopted, or senior dogs who are experiencing more general anxiety.
Chris Muldoon, Operations Manager at Dogs for Good in the United Kingdom describes SRD like this:
“Separation anxiety is triggered by the removal of something in the dog’s life that is a constant part of its life at the moment and generally that is people. So if you leave the home at 7:30 in the morning, you grab your keys and head out of the door these can be triggers for the dog to realize that the rest of the day is going to be spent without the person they would rather be with.”
The stress can lead to barking or crying that can’t be comforted, excessive drooling, pacing, chewing or scratching at doors, dilated pupils, panting, trembling, pacing, destruction, loss of bladder or bowel control, or hyper reactions to the owner leaving or returning.
Experts say there are ways to avoid SRD. Here are a few:
The best, easiest method: Occasionally leave the house, without the dog.
Change Your “Going Away” Signals. Use a different door, put your coat on but don’t leave for 15 minutes, leave your keys/purse/shoes in a different location. When you leave, give your dog a treat or a toy to play with to distract them.
Downplay Goodbyes and Hellos. Don’t get emotional when leaving your dog and overexcited when you come back.
Leave Comfort Items and Background Music on for Your Dog. Items that have your scent such as dirty laundry can help your dog relax and remember that you will come back. Soothing nature sounds or can help your dog relax and fall asleep.
Working from home? Alternate between having the dog in the same room and being somewhere alone elsewhere in the house.
Go for walks.
Use treat-dispensing toys.
Make your dog “hunt” for his meals by hiding small piles of his kibble around your house or yard when you leave.
Put your dog in a room or crate (if he/she loves her crate), shut the door, and leave the room for short bits of time. Slowly increase the time you are out of the room, starting with a few seconds and building up to 15-30 minutes.
If possible, take your dog to work with you.
Arrange for a family member, friend or dog sitter to come to your home and stay with your dog when you’re not there.
Do NOT scold or punish your dog.
If all fails contact a vet.
Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.
In Milwaukee, Dog’s Death Blamed on Protesters.
USDA confirms that Winston the pug, believed to be first dog with coronavirus, was never infected.
Amy Cooper, infamous Central Park ‘Karen,’ gets dog returned to her by animal rescue group.
A blind therapy dog brings joy to assisted-living residents with visits through the window.
Historic plane to transport Thomas Waerner home to Norway after dog musher left stranded in Alaska.
War dog cemetery in Michigan draws national acclaim.
THAT’S IT FOR DOGS IN THE NEWS.
HERE’S OUR DOG PHOTO(s) OF THE WEEK.
In Perry Barr, England, greyhounds resume racing, behind closed doors, as restrictions on sporting events are relaxed. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images
In Singapore, a Maltese poodle is groomed as pet services resume after the coronavirus outbreak. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters
We close as we always do with our closing video, and we have a few.
First, dog rescued from landslide. The video is in this article.
Next, from the BBC:
Because you’re dying to know: Do animals belong on TikTok?
AND, Winnie loves her mailman. The video is in this article.
That’s it for this week.
Thanks for stopping by.
We kindly ask that you please share with other dog lovers you know.
See ya, BARK, next Saturday morning!
That’s Izzie. We prayed for Izzie this week. Found!