Self Isolating With Your Dog

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During the Coronavirus crisis, many of us will be in lockdown or self isolation. Which, if you have a dog, could be a problem ,especially if they are very active!

So, here are my tips on how to manage!

Could they move out?

If you have friends or family members who could look after your dog and give them their normal walks and exercise, that is probably the best option.

But, if that isn’t possible, you are going to have to keep them entertained and tire them out at home!

Here are a few things to try;

Ditch the food bowl!

Make mealtimes a mental and physical workout! Try scattering their biscuits on the garden if you have one or inside if possible. If you have puzzle toys, get them out, and if you don’t, make some! All those toilet rolls you are hoarding?! Keep them inners and hide the kibble inside them. Same goes for cardboard food packaging and other boxes! The Facebook group Beyond The Bowl – Canine Enrichment is an amazing resource for cheap, homemade ideas!

Hide their toys!

Not all of them obviously! But dogs are like children, if their toys are lying around, they won’t play with them! Put all but a few away and swap them daily so there is always something new to investigate!

Back to school!

There is no truth to the saying ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!’. Help exercise your dogs mind (and keep you entertained as well!) by learning some new things Youtube is a great place to watch step by step guides.

Get in the garden!

Running about in a garden is really no substitute for a proper walk but needs must! Ball throwing is fun but don’t overdo it, especially in older dogs. The short, sharp stopping and turning can be quite a strain on joints, so limit it to just a couple of brief sessions a day. But there are other games!  Crufts has just been on the TV, check out their channels for the agility and see what obstacles you can create!

Anticipate problems!

If your dog is the type to bark at passers-by or get over-excited by the doorbell, this behaviour may well get worse if they are not exercising. Limit their access to triggers like people walking past the window by closing curtains or keeping them out of the front room and put a sign on the front door asking people to call you rather than knock. 

Time in lockdown with our dogs can seem a daunting prospect, especially if we have to self isolate completely but hopefully my tips will make it seem less scary and you might find it a really rewarding experience!

You can follow me on Twitter; @cat_the_vet,  FaceBook;  Cat_The_Vet and Instagram, Cat The Vet

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