Despite all the craziness surrounding the current global pandemic, there’s one group who couldn’t be happier that we’re all stuck at home: our dogs. Those little cuties probably think they’ve hit the lottery with owners who are always around to give them snuggles, play time, and treats — but it’s important to make sure they don’t get too attached.
When we’re all eventually able to return to our offices, travel, or just go out, it means we’ll be spending less time with our pups and there’s a good chance they’ll get struck with some separation anxiety. “With such an overload of quality time with their families, dogs are building up a huge reservoir of over-dependency,” Dr. Roger Mugford, the veterinarian responsible for training Queen Elizabeth’s corgis, recently explained to the Guardian.
According to Mugford, we should be taking structured, short periods of separation from our dogs. He’s advising his clients (royal or not) to “self-isolate” from their pooches for about 30 minutes several times a day to prepare them for post-quarantine life without us around as much.
It might break your heart to think about willingly spending less time with your dog while hunkered down (especially when they give you those puppy dog eyes), but it makes sense that it can help them in the long run. This way, you won’t have to worry as much about them acting up — like chewing up shoes or doing their bathroom duty inside — when you do venture back out.
The queen is likely following the same advice with her beloved corgis, too. Mugford described her as an “amazing dog owner and good dog trainer.” In fact, despite being brought to the palace to help calm down a brood of competitive pups who got into fights often, the vet says Elizabeth is a “bloody good trainer in her own right.” Sounds like she could have had a career working with pooches if the whole monarchy business didn’t take precedence.
Whether or not you and your pup live in a palace, with a little effort, humans and canines can all emerge as happy and healthy as possible from this strange time.