19 May 2022

KWWSPCA: Prep your pet for post-lockdown separation

With the Kildare and West Wicklow Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

KWWSPCA: Prep your pet for post-lockdown separation

Max saying goodbye to trainer Iveta

In early March, we brought you the story of the lovely dalmatian Max, who came to the KWWSPCA having spent a lot of his early life alone in a shed. He had developed an extreme fear of sudden noises, meeting people and many other everyday situations.

Animal trainer and behaviourist Iveta Kalvane of Pakleaders K9 Services took Max into her home to help build his confidence. The training programme was very successful, and last week he went to his newly adopted home a completely different dog.

Iveta was delighted with his progress. She said building his trust in people was the real breakthrough in his recovery.

Since the pandemic began, we have all been spending much more of our time at home with our pets and they have become used to that pattern. As the country starts to emerge from lockdown, Iveta has some good advice for dog owners. She says that when we return to work outside the home in the coming months, many dogs will suffer from separation anxiety. They may chew things like house plants or rugs and do damage to furniture.

Her advice is to start to prepare now by leaving your dog alone for short periods during the day. The key point, she says, is to completely play down when you are leaving.

“Don’t make a big fuss with your dog when you are going out. Do the complete opposite, ignore your dog and leave,” she advises.

And on your return, you must do the same thing and pay little attention to your dog. In this way, she says, you are giving your pet reassurance that they are safe in the house while alone.

She also suggests putting the dog in another room with the door closed and then, when they are calm and settled, just open the door without any fuss.

This can help by putting a distance between you and your dog at different times during the day.

Toys that will stimulate your dog’s mind while they are on their own are a great method of distraction and creating calm.

Her advice is to start now with the separation process, even though it can be quite difficult to turn your back on your dog, but it will avoid problems later if you stick to the plan.


The Kildare & West Wicklow Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (KWWSPCA) is a Registered Charity which investigates and deals with reports of cruelty and neglect to animals, family pets, wild animals and birds, horses and ponies, throughout County Kildare and West Wicklow. The Society is run entirely on a voluntary basis, there are no paid employees.

Charity Number, CHY 6280

Helpline: 087 1279835 Email: Website:

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