Dogs & Surviving Lock-Down Due To COVID-19
Dogs and Coronavirus
Ash house vets and RSPCA state that at this time it is believed that this particular version of coronavirus cannot be caught by cats and dogs. Good hygiene should always be maintained. Gains S (2020), Ash House Vets (2020).
Keep up to date on changing government guidelines, particularly reference exercising your dog. These may change quickly. The government and medical professionals will know what you can or cannot do. This blog is not intending to advise on coronavirus rules.
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Your veterinarian will advise on all animal clinical aspects and visiting their surgery rules in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before you visit your vet, always phone first if you need their medical help, or advice. Your vet will make an appointment if your vet decides it is necessary to examine your animal.
Phone, email your vet to ask about their current coronavirus procedures, or look at their website, so that you are aware if you should need medical help with your animal.
Consider a plan B to get your animal to the vet if you are potentially in self isolation.
Aim not to stock pile animal medication, so there is enough for all important pets just like yours. Your vet will help you decide what your pet needs and when best to order it.
Ensure that you have any of your pets requirements to survive two weeks isolation. This may be bedding, food, medication, litter etc.
Always ask your veterinarian what it is right for, your animal. Plug in scent diffusers have scientifically been found to help some animals feel calmer. e.g.; Pet Remedy, Adaptil, or Feliway.
Lock Down With Your Dog
Keeping your pet safe and entertained may take thinking outside the box. With reduced exercise opportunities it is even more important to interact with your dog around your commitments. It can be brief, or as much time as you wish, but several regular times a day.
Take your dog out for a walk if and where permitted. Respect other people by keeping a recommended social distance away.
If your dog is aggressive towards people, or dogs, keep a very large social distance away (muzzle & lead as appropriate to your dog).
Be prepared to keep your dog on lead, if there are several people walking in the countryside area to maintain social distance.
Dog Entertained in Lockdown
Training and mental exercise also wears a dog out, so refine your dog training, or teach something new. E.g empty the washing machine, tidy up its toys, bring your slippers, or a 5 second down stay.
Maintain the familiar regular dog routine as much as practical.
Change the dog toy choices daily, to maintain variety and interest in play.
After ‘sit’ offer a safe chew to enjoy. A chew is a great stress reliever. Supervise your dog. Put it away after he has walked away.
Enjoy games together with a dog toy.
Recall between rooms, or across the garden.
Make mealtimes, or consuming part of the daily ration, more entertaining and mentally stimulating; Food dispensing toys, Licky mats, Snuffle mats, or just sprinkle kibble in the grass.
Scent games; Put kibble, or other smelly dog food into an old sock and drag it along the ground, to leave a scent trail, inside or outside your property. At the end of the scent trail leave a toy, or a few bits of kibble.
This is general advice only. It is not intended to tailor to all potential dog behaviour issues. Some of these games may not be right for your dog. For example If your dog guards food, or chew toys. Know your dog.
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Stay Safe & Stay at Home
Ref Gains S (2020) Can coronavirus infect pets. Available from RSPCA.org.uk. accessed March 2020. Vet nurse Ash House vets.
COVID – 19 & Dog Behaviour Consultation
Canine Whispers are offering virtual dog behaviour consults by Zoom, or FaceTime. If it is safe to do so video footage can be sent. Your veterinarian can diagnose and address any underlying medical cause relating to the behaviour, prior to dog behaviour consultation. Your vet will decide if an actual, or remote examination is required to eliminate a clinical cause. To discuss this virtual dog behaviour option, or find out more please get in touch via phone, email or our