Returning to Work & Leaving Your Dog at Home


Over the past 18 months, many of you may have found yourselves working from home, with your pets by your side. As more and more return to the office, there is a lot to think about when leaving your dog at home again. It’s important to remember that it’s not just going be an adjustment for us, but our pets as well.

Some of you may have welcomed your first dog into the family, so won’t be familiar with leaving your dog at home. Others may have worked from home for so long or spent increased periods of time at home that dogs have forgotten what it’s like to be left. As we adjust to returning to work, we need to make sure our pets are also well adjusted.

We’ve put together some handy tips to help reduce anxiety, stress and make a smooth transition:

  • Start training in plenty of time. There is no given time frame when training your dog, only you will know how they respond to being away from you. However, it is best to allow more time than you think you may need just in case your dog doesn’t settle easily.
  • Take steps to prevent separation anxiety. Depending on how much you currently leave your dog this can be done by being away from your dog for a few minutes, and rewarding positive behaviour, to gradually increasing the periods of time they are left. This reduces the shock of being left and reassures them that you will return.

  • Try to keep their feeding and exercise routine as similar as possible. Consider how often you will arrange toilet and exercise breaks. Perhaps you’re able to return at certain points during the day, or maybe need the assistance of a dog walker, or friend/relative to pop in. Be sure to make these plans in good time so that your dog’s routine isn’t disrupted too much when it’s time to head to the office.
  • Keep them entertained. Without you around to keep them company, consider how you might keep your dog entertained whilst you’re not there. Whether that is new toys, letting your dog watch tv, providing chew toys to keep them busy, or providing accessible ways for them to look out the window, there are lots of ways to keep them busy. By keeping your dog entertained this can not only help reduce the stress of being left alone, but also helps to prevent any boredom induced mischievous behaviour

The RSPCA also have some useful training advice on leaving your dog at home. For more tips and advice on caring for your dogs please check out our Guides.