How to Help a Dog With Separation Anxiety During COVID-19

Let me start off by saying I absolutely love my dog. He’s my baby. I’ve had him since he was a smol little pup, and he’s gotten me through not only a breakup that might as well have been a divorce, but a job loss, seasons of emotional rollercoasters, and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.

But this quarantine has affected my four-year-old dood in Big Ways. And I’m sure this comes as no surprise to fellow dog owners, but he literally won’t leave my side. In simple terms, these past few months have been a lot on him and his attachment style.

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That’s not really the problem though. The biggest issue: His separation anxiety has surged to the point where he’s literally cockblocking my sex life. Like, more so now than ever before. And while he hasn’t given my partner a mid-sex rim job yet (I fell into a dark thread on Reddit and can confirm this is most certainly A Thing), he has become quite the voyeur.

Like, recently, my man and I went from a post-dinner couch hang to post-dinner couch sex. I was straddling him, staring into his deliciously bright blue eyes, grinding against him, and noticed my partner was… staring past me and into my dog’s eyes.

Yup, my sweet little pup was glaring at him, and unfortunately for me, my partner doesn’t love the extra stares while we’re going at it. (No shade if exhibitionism is your kink, it’s just not my dude’s.) It seems my pupper has made the whole “I’m going to stare and watch you every time you have sex” thing a habit, when he, pre-pandemic, would occupy himself with a nap instead.

But it doesn’t just stop there. As if my doggo’s eye-gazing tendencies weren’t boner killers enough, he has a habit of now ruining every day romantic moments.

Like one time, when my guy picked me up after he got home from work and hoisted me in the air mid-make out, all passion was completely wiped when my dog clawed at my partner’s back (like, drew blood) because he wanted in on the “hug.” Le sigh.

The good news? All of this is apparently totally normal and not just a me-problem, confirms animal behaviorist and veterinarian Wailani Sung, DVM.

And while there are no studies yet about the direct effect of the pandemic on our animals, we know the more time an animal spends with its human = the greater chance they will start exhibiting anxious behavior when their human leaves (or in my case, spends time with someone else), confirms Dr. Sung.

Luckily, there are some options if we don’t want to choose between having an ~emotional~ dog or a sex life, according to Dr. Sung:

  1. Put the pup in another room. (Hi, yes, this will be hard for all of you super attached to your pup, but if they really hate being in a different room with a closed door, try a crate or puppy pen in the same room.)
  2. Take them on a lil socially-distant walk before a partner comes over…or before a sex session. Consider it foreplay?
  3. Treat them to all the doggy goodies. Don’t be afraid to indulge them, give them a kong and a treat and a brain stimulating toy to keep ‘em occupied.
  4. Make sure time with just you is way less interesting and less treat-infused than the time when a partner is over. Your dog will soon learn that your intimate moments are not as fun, and therefore will not want to be apart of them.
  5. Practice letting them be alone while you make noise or do an activity in another room. Consider this “homework” and properly setting boundaries.
  6. …and if none of the above seems to work, call your vet. Just maybs tell them your little fur baby is distracting, uh, “work calls.”
    1. And there you have it, folks. TBD on how this will work for my doggo, but if it’s for the sake of my sex life during an already terrible 2020, it’s worth it. So stock-up on some treats via Amazon, practice setting those boundaries, and everyone will thank you for it—your relationship and orgasms included.

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