Dog expert's advice on handling separation anxiety as lockdown ends

There've been some upsides to being in lockdown - like quality time with our pets.

But how will our four-legged family members cope when we head back to work?

Fern Wilson has been living her best life. For the last five weeks, the six-month-old corgi has been loving having her owners home.

"You're playing ball or throwing the teddy, taking her for walks or you tend to talk to her more because you haven't had anyone else to talk to," says owner Christine Wilson.

Like most pets during this lockdown Fern has grown accustomed to being the centre of attention.

"Normally we get up and we take her out of the crate and do the toilet and food," Wilson says.

But on Anzac morning things were a little different. At dawn, the Wilsons stood at their gate for half an hour.

"We crept out of the house and left her inside because we thought she might bark up the street and disturb the people who are still sleeping," Wilson says.

"We came in to a very distressed dog and she made a bit of a mess in her crate which she doesn't normally do."

Animal behaviourist Mark Vette understands the close connection between owner and animal.

"Dogs, certainly they do get over-attached when they have an intense period with you," he says.

Vette says dogs are a great comfort during uncertain times.

"One of the things that we love about dogs is that they lower our blood pressure, increase our endorphins, make us feel really good."

But if you're headed back to work in level 3 Vette says now's the time to get them used to being alone.

"Start with 15mins, stretch to half an hour and then an hour or two."

Vette says lockdown is the time to teach your dog new tricks. But Vette says some separation will be good for us all.

"You want them there all the time and they see the same about you but that over-attachment is a very real thing."

But maybe after one last cuddle.