It has been an interesting few days here at Canine Perspective HQ. It has felt a lot like Christmas! I don’t say that with any hint of excitement but with sadness.
There has been an increase in calls and emails about grumpy dogs, reactive dogs and bitey dogs. A nurse friend of mine told me that there has been an increase in dog-bite cases at her minor-injuries unit and all of them have been by the family pet.
Please, please, please give your dog the space they need in the midst of this lockdown. They’re not used to the whole family being at home 24/7 with the noise and energy levels that inevitably comes with that.
Remember the house rules and if they’re not in place in your home, it’s time to implement some lockdown rules.
- Your dog needs a safe place to retreat to with a comfy bed and when they go to that space, they are left alone. Nobody goes near them; nobody touches them. If you need to call them for walkies, that’s fine, call them but otherwise, leave them alone.
- Their routine needs to remain the same. Their exercise routine, food routine and time away from the family routine has to be maintained to the best of your ability. I wrote this recently, about reducing the risk of your dog’s world falling apart when the school/work routine returns. It’s really important.
- Your dog needs enrichment, whether that’s something to chew, a scent game, a place to dig or a short training game; they need to channel their energy in a positive way.
If you have made it through lockdown so far and you haven’t snapped at someone, felt a wave of despair, been confused about your emotional response or just wanted to run around screaming at the top of your voice then please let me know your secret. If you have had a moment or two (or, many more!) of despair, experienced in your own way, then that’s a completely normal response to what’s happening.
Your dog has experienced all of the change, all of the emotion and all of the energy shifts within your home without having a clue what’s going on. They need our help to make sure they can get through lockdown in the best possible way.