Lockdown has been in place now for over 3 weeks…
How is everyone getting on? I hope you are focusing on the quality time with your household family and/or your pets and remaining as positive as you can. I mean, look at how often the big yellow guy in the sky has made an appearance! With all the new spring flowers and the birds wakening us all up in the mornings, it really does force a smile in these uncertain times.
I would like to focus on our pals with paws and how lockdown will be affecting them. Now, being a veterinary nurse and coming from a household with two cats and two dogs, I have no favourites what so ever, but, I am going to be aiming to chat about our canine pals!
Every household is different, and even more so at the present time. Some of us will have dogs that are used to us being around all the time and others may not be. Another point I would like to make, and an important one, is that some of your dogs are not used to having kids around all of the time. They may usually have time-out during the day when the wee ones are at school or nursery. It is important to be aware of this and to allow your dogs some down time every day. Some of you, like me, are used to having a daily dog walker or day care service. Dogs are very much creatures of habit and not seeing their pals, human ones and with paws, will be confusing for them. We also run the risk of our dogs potentially getting separation anxiety in the long run due to their pawrent being around all of the time. That is why time away from us, whether this is in their crate if your dog is happy and crate trained, or in a different room for a short time is no bad thing.
A lot of you guys will still be working from home and yes, having doggy hugs and kisses 24/7 IS ideal in my opinion but not really when you’re trying to type, write or chat on the phone. So what can we do to keep our pals busy? Well, my two dogs are very busy and full of business for most of the day! Plus, they are used to a good few hours of exercise per day. With the new government guidelines, this has been drastically reduced. Not every household will have more than one person so unfortunately one hour is the maximum. If you do have more than one person then why not split the walks up? If you are happy to walk your pawsome pal yourself, then why not split the walks up and do three twenty minute walks and the other person does say for example, one or two thirty minute walks? Depending on what your own dog is used to…you get the idea!
Yes physical exercise is important for our dogs but mental stimulation is very important also. A lot of you may already have lots of toys etc for your pals but what about puzzles and chews to keep them interested and busy? No matter what puzzles or chews you are using or introducing to your pals, please always do so under supervision. You all likely know about Kongs and the like, but what are you putting in the Kongs? My two dogs love a frozen Kong! I alternate what I put in them depending on what I have in the fridge and cupboard. Sometimes it is some mashed banana, natural peanut butter, doggy pate or some natural plain yoghurt. I tend to use some of their kibble in the mix or some of their treats too. I pop them in the freezer for a few hours and then they are ready to rock! You can adjust this for your own dog if they have any allergies or intolerances. Licky lick style mats work in the same way, once you fill them with goodies, pop them in the freezer and they will last way longer.
Puzzles don’t need to be store bought, overly complicated and expensive. Before recycling an egg box, why not cut up the holders and hide treats under them. Under supervision of course! Snuffle mats can be home made also if you’re crafty. Why not teach your dog clicker training or some new tricks? One thing that keeps me busy and in a positive frame of mind is my very serious and dedicated Instagram page dedicated to…MY DOGS. Not serious at all but lots of fun! If you are looking for a long lasting chew then have a wee nosey at Himalayan Yak chews, my two love them and they are long lasting. These are just a few ideas to keep you and your pals busy and positive. I hope you can take away at least one thing mentioned here and implement it.
We have a Facebook competition on at the moment! “Has your pet got talent?”. It’s all a bit of fun! We want to see your pet’s talents. Competition is running until the 18th of April at 12pm so get practising and uploading onto Facebook. GOOD LUCK!