preparing your dog for your return to work

Have you returned to the workplace? Even if you haven’t the likelihood is that you eventually will so it’s important that you prepare your dog to transition to a new daily routine.

Over the past several weeks, I talked about what to do before you return to work to set your dog up for a successful transition. You can read those here and here. In my last post I talked about what signs to look for in your dog’s behavior to determine if he is suffering anxiety from being home alone.

Today, I’ll share tips on what to do to alleviate those symptoms of anxiety your dog may be exhibiting.

I’ve loved sharing this information with you because helping adopted dogs live their best life is my passion. I’ve spent much of my quarantine helping people – and their dogs – adjust to life together. Part of that mission is also helping them to be comfortable being separated from each other when quarantine is over.

I’ve even created a free online course on Preparing Your Adopted Dog for Your Return to Work: what to do before and after you return to work so you and your dog have an easy and stress-free transition which you can take at Thinkific.

A blog post can’t cover everything a course can but I hope you received valuable tips from these articles and were inspired to take the free course as I believe it will help you even more!

Once you are back to working away from home, you and your dog still want to enjoy your life together. Neither of you wants to be stressed out during the times you must be separated from each other and you want to maximize your enjoyment of your times together.

puppy chewing on shoes

All of this can be achieved through consciously planning for your post return to work days and relieving any stress your dog (and you) may experience, especially in the beginning when you are both getting used to the separation.

The main focus of post-return is assessing what’s working and what parts of your strategy need improvement which we started on last week including listing what to look for to tell if your dog is experiencing anxiety.

Today, I share ways to alleviate your dog’s underlying anxiety as well as how to address some specific symptoms of anxiety. The course goes into more detail in each area so be sure to register here.

Alleviating Dog Separation Anxiety

There are some general resources for soothing an anxious dog, these include:

  • Scientifically created music such as Through A Dog’s Ear
  • Dog Appeasing Pheromones (DAP) that can be purchased over the counter
  • Certain essential oils used in a diffuser
  • Medications prescribed by your veterinarian

Addressing Specific Symptoms of Anxiety

indoor potty accidents – be sure to give your dog ample potty time before you leave for work – if the problem persists consider hiring a midday dog walker. You can also limit your dog to just one room of your house where you can lay out pee pads to save you from messy clean up.


destructive behavior – limiting your dog’s space helps with this one as well as does giving him plenty of appropriate items to chew to help alleviate the stress that results in destruction.

excessive licking (of paws or bed) – this is a self-soothing behavior and can benefit from the calming measures listed in the general recommendations section above.

lack of appetite – temp your pup with all her favorites!

excessive barking – the general calming measures can help here, too, as can limiting your dog’s access to windows where she is likely being triggered to bark by what she sees/hears.

over-excitement upon your return – rather than match your dog’s excitement at your reunion, stay calm and allow your dog to also calm down before engaging in your greeting.

I hope you found value from this 4-part series on helping you and your dog adapt to your return to the office. For a deeper dive plus a guidebook, Facebook group and live Q&A sessions, I invite you to take my free online course, Preparing Your Adopted Dog for Your Return to Work: what to do before and after you return to work so you and your dog have an easy and stress-free transition over at Thinkific.

Preparing your dog for your return to work