Separation anxiety expert and author Julie Naismith
The majority of dog owners would consider ‘pulling a sickie’ to care for their pets as they prepare to return to work post-lockdown, new research has shown.
Almost three quarters are worried about how returning to work will affect their pet, the survey revealed.
The poll by separation anxiety expert and author Julie Naismith is a snapshot of how dog owners are feeling ahead of an anticipated widespread end to working from home as UK bosses plan to boost post-pandemic productivity.
The survey revealed that more than 85% of the 900 people surveyed would consider taking time off sick to look after their pets.
And over half (54%) also said they would consider quitting their current jobs if their employers didn’t allow them to take their dogs to work with them. More than 80% are looking into doggy day-care with a quarter of the remainder believing this is too expensive an option.
Julie said: “You need to send your dog to day-care or a petsitter if you can. Day-care will help your dog remember that there’s more to their world than just being with you.”
Julie, best-selling author of ‘Be Right Back’, a guide to overcoming separation anxiety in dogs, said she wasn’t surprised by the survey results and was encouraged to see how much owners love their dogs and put their welfare above other considerations.
Three-quarters of those surveyed had acquired a dog in lockdown.
And while Julie said she couldn’t condone taking a ‘sickie’ to care for them, she could understand the desperation owners may feel if their pets suffer with separation anxiety.
“Honesty is the best policy,” said Julie. “I’m hoping there are some understanding bosses out there who would appreciate that caring for a beloved part of the family is vital and a frank conversation about this would be better than fibbing.
“The key is to make sure you train your pet to be alone, they can respond really well, my 10-year-old cockapoo Percy is a perfect example of this, he used to be really stressed when I wasn’t around but he is comfortable with it now.”