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Class helps deal with dog separation anxiety as owners head back to work


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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KMBC) — How’s your dog doing? Have you noticed your best friend just doesn’t seem as happy since you’ve gone back to work?

It’s called dog separation anxiety. With owners going back to work, some dogs are getting confused and depressed because they’ve been working next to their owners for so long.

“I was home every day with the six dogs. We had a blast,” dog owner Candy Brown said. “He’s a typical lab that just thinks everyone is there to see him,” Brown said.

With Brown going back to work, her dog, Jackson, is one of many taking a dog separation anxiety class.

“Most of them have been stuck in the house with their owners and they’re not used to being left alone yet,” said Brett Currie, a trainer at Wayside Waifs.

Currie said it is probably worse for pandemic puppies and dogs adopted in the last year. But she said she is seeing it in older dogs, too.

“You might see that they’re looking more frequently or almost obsessively panting when you go to leave, or pacing when you go to leave,” Currie said.

Her class offers tips for pet depression and separation anxiety.

“Hide treats around the house. I like to just rotate toys in and out, so I’ll get three toys today and pick those up and give three new toys tomorrow,” Currie said.

Wayside Waifs said that it is five, one-hour classes that basically teach your dog how to readjust to that schedule without you in it, and teaching owners a little bit more about how they can help that schedule.

“The more they do to keep them kind of mentally busy and working, the more tired therapy during the day while they’re gone,” Currie said.

As for Brown, she said frequent walks have been working.

“They come home and they’re tired and that’s kind of what your goal is — to get them tired,” Brown said.

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