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Our Dogs Post Lockdown

March 15, 2020

As we are trying to get our normal lives back on track, so are our dogs. Lots of people have changed their routine completely from when we were in Lockdown.

 

Owners are going back to work and children are going back to school. This is something our dogs are trying to get used to again. Dogs like routine, so even having regular feed times can help, and if you haven’t already, gradually move them to a time that works for you when you come home from work. Owners can help dogs to prepare for being left, by spending time going out without their dog, for shorter periods of time first and then they can start to leave them longer each time.


Many dogs can find change stressful. Being left for longer periods of time while mum or dad go back to work, can lead to separation anxiety. Having a dog walker can help with this, whether it’s to pop in for some time to break up their day, or take them out for a walk. This can give them shorter periods of time being left on their own, and will hopefully allow them to settle better.


Leaving relaxing aids can help to take their mind off the feeling of being alone, for example a stuffed Kong or lick mat, with their favourite treats in. The act of licking for dogs, releases endorphins which helps the dog calm down in stressful situations. If this is left out for the dog walker to put down when they come in, it can help the dog relax. Leaving the radio on can sometimes help give the dog a sense of someone being home. Pheromone collars and plug in diffusers are available and may help to de-stress the dog.


Some dogs may be relieved to have the house back to themselves, if households have been noisy during Lockdown. However, for some dogs, they may have had key workers as pet parents so are so are used to being home alone.


Some pet parents are still working from home, so perhaps not a lot has changed for the dog with regards to someone being at home. Owners are able to take their dog out for a lunchtime walk still, give him an extra biscuit or Kong at lunch. However, the work load may have increased and finding time to take Rover out is hard, so they hire a dog walker to help. Here at Coastal Canine Pet Services I have 3 walks to choose from, 8am,10.30am and 1pm, all walks are at a woodland away from roads and livestock.


A new routine may have been practiced altogether, and new activities have risen for both pet parent and dog, such Trick Training. Robbie my Staffordshire Bull Terrier, has loved the Trick Training sessions and learning new skills, so have decided to carry on with it. During Lockdown we both also kept busy by creating videos of activities to practice with your dog and posting on to Facebook. Some of which were Hoopers videos, which has led onto a few people taking up a new sport with their dog. If you would like to know more about Hoopers classes take a look at the Hoopers page on the website.


If your dog is finding it hard to cope with the new normal, and showing signs of stress and anxiety, you may need to seek help of a vet or behaviourist, to get further help.  


What are you doing to help your dog with the routine change?

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