Philly dog ​​training and daycare in high demand as workers return to offices

When the Providence Animal Center launched a new separation anxiety course this month, staff knew some would be interested, as staff heard concerns from dog owners as the pandemic eased, Pets are increasingly being left alone at home.

But the Delaware County Media, Pet Adoption and Training Center didn’t expect the class to be so popular: The June class sold out quickly without any promotions, says Justina Kargi, director of development and public relations. Arno said.

Registered puppy owners “may sometimes go back to work. They may have a bigger social schedule than before,” Calgiano said, noting that the center will offer the class again in July, with most places already filled. “There is a natural need.”

Tips for Anxious Dogs (and Their Humans!)

Can’t get professional training for your dog? Here are some simple tips for working from home behaviors from veterinarians, trainers, and other experts:

  • Start with the basics, even if you think your dog already knows them. The commands to sit, stay, lie down, and leave cannot be overemphasized.
  • Peruse YouTube, Instagram or other social media Free dog training exercises.
  • step by step So you won’t be overwhelmed. Incorporate one exercise into your puppy’s routine for a few days, then try adding another.
  • Take your dog out for activities that allow you to relax. This could be an early morning walk in nature, or a five-minute walk around your neighborhood to interrupt the workday.
  • Discuss with your veterinarian if you notice changes in behavior. This could be something your dog can train out of, or it could be a sign of something more serious.

Sources: Carlo Siracusa, Associate Professor of Clinical Animal Behavior, Penn College of Veterinary Medicine; Portia Scott, Owner, Central Bark; Portia Scott, Owner; Leigh Siegfried, Owner, Opportunity Barks Training and Behavior

The popularity of the training is just a byproduct of the surge in pet adoptions during the pandemic.

Now, more than two years since the outbreak of COVID-19, more and more people are starting to return to schedules that take them out of their homes or bring them (and their pets) into contact with others: remote work has become hybrid work, and some of them are in the office for at least a day or two a week. Social programs and summer vacations may become more frequent.

For dogs, that means fewer nights snuggling on sofas with humans, walking and outings on busy streets, and more time alone at home — or being watched by strangers — because their owners are more Frequent adventures back into this world.

For veterinarians, dog day care owners, dog trainers and others in the pet industry across the country, that means a slew of new clients — nearly one in five households has adopted a dog or cat during the pandemic – and the increased demand for pets. Behavioral services to address everything from separation anxiety to leash reactivity to poor social interaction.

Animals have been adjusted for each phase of the pandemic, said Carlo Siracusa, associate professor of clinical animal behavior at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

“Look at reality from your dog’s perspective: It’s not going to be easy for you,” said Syracuse, who is also director of the Companion Animal Behavioral Medicine Service at Ryan Veterinary Hospital. “It’s not easy for your dog.”

» Read more: Philadelphia animal rescue efforts overwhelm as families collectively return pandemic puppies

He said that from his perspective — seeing the most severe cases, the ones that require veterinary attention — the biggest problem isn’t separation anxiety, it’s the canine response. With increased foot traffic and car traffic, the streets are more crowded and noisier than they were in the pre-pandemic period, a condition many so-called Covid-19 puppies have never experienced before, causing them to sprint into traffic or passersby, he said.

Many people delayed addressing these issues until recently, possibly due to impending changes to their work or social schedules, he said.

“It absolutely overwhelms us,” he said, noting that his veterinary clinic is understaffed and waiting lists for appointments are often long.

Owner Portia Scott said Central Bark, a Grays Ferry dog ​​daycare that also offers training and overnight boarding, was at capacity and wanted to expand to a second location to meet growing demand.

Scott said she’s also seen that dogs — including her goofy Bowie — are more responsive and anxious, especially in public with so many cars and people. She said it could add to the anxiety of homeowners, who may already be stressed about returning to normal social activities. Dogs can sense the state of mind of their owners and act accordingly, she said.

“Humans are definitely as anxious as dogs,” said Scott, who adopted Bowie in December 2019. “Having a puppy during a pandemic has been amazing,” and owners can no longer rely on it for their busier schedules middle.

Leigh Siegfried, owner of Opportunity Barks Training and Behavior, said interest peaked last summer and has remained consistent since, with a marked increase in response problems for puppies adjusting to the busier outdoor space. Meanwhile, separation anxiety is addressed in private one-on-one meetings, she said.

The drop-off, day-training puppy program at Opportunity Barks (with studios in Old Town, East Falls and Quakertown) has been especially popular throughout the pandemic, reducing stress for owners.

“I do think more people are happy to say, ‘Help me do this if you want to do the heavy lifting,'” Siegfried said.

For those who don’t have the resources to seek professional training, Siegfried said she recommends simple at-home workouts that focus on one aspect of dog behavior at a time.

“Be nice to yourself, because I think having a dog is a good reason for self-abuse if you let it go,” she said. Even if it’s just through free online training videos, “Ask for help. There are plenty of resources out there.”


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