How has COVID-19 affected our pets?

Following COVID-19 and the pandemic that nobody could have planned for, we have seen a number of changes in our pets. Our pets are sensitive creatures and we must take into account their emotions through this tough time. We have taught owners for years the importance of leaving their pets for short periods to avoid separation anxiety and unnecessarily anxious dogs. This situation has however seen owners spend 10 weeks or more with their dogs, constantly, and the ramifications of this are huge! Although we now know dogs cannot pass the virus this has not stopped them from feeling the effects. So, how can we help our pets? This may take a little time but we believe persistence is key. Strip it back to the basics, put in the work and you will reap the rewards. Our dogs love structure and consistency so it is our job to provide this for them. Gradually work on leaving your dog at home alone (ensure they are safe in a specific area that they are relaxed), this may mean you can only leave for 10 or 20 minutes but overtime you should be able to build on this. Leave them daily and allow them to build their confidence in the knowledge you will return. Once safe to do so, let your dog off the leash again and allow them to socialise with other dogs. If your dog has never been off leash, why not try a long line. These leads come in 50m lengths allowing your dog to roam but giving you peace of mind you can retrieve them if they don’t come willingly. You may need to up your game with high value rewards (chicken, beef, anything particularly yummy). Reintroduce your dog to their dog walkers or daycare, it is important they have a little time away from you, even if this is only once per week. If you are still struggling recruit the help of a behaviourist who can work one to one with you and your dog to get the best results. We owe this to our dogs! For more information on daycare options, please contact a member of the team.