Helping your dogs return to life after Covid-19 stress free!
As you may be aware by the temporary closure of our website, we have been unable to manufacture our dog coats during the full period of lockdown due to the covid-19 virus because our manufacturing facilities are located on the family farm where my parents are in the shielded category. For this reason we have spent the last few months at home with our two dogs: Joey the eleven year old whippet and Harley the three year old border terrier. As time passes they have become accustomed to us being at home all day and have been enjoying lots of extra walks; lapping up the extra attention they have both been receiving while we have been at home all day.
Now that the lockdown is gradually being eased as the weeks pass it is now time to start thinking about going back to work and starting the dog coat manufacturing up again. This got us thinking… What about the dogs? How will they cope when we eventually return to work full time? Now that their ‘normal’ consists of spending all day with us, cuddling on the sofa or going on long extended walks (in the local area of course), how will they now cope on their own again? Will they be distressed and lonely? What other issues might they face? This is the basis of this blog I am now writing and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you.
Covid-19 and ‘lockdown’ has caused massive changes to many of our lives, whether that’s due to shielding, furlough or working from home, we have all spent much more time at home and have therefore been enjoying extended periods of time with our dogs. To many, including your beloved pets, this has been absolutely fantastic! I know our dogs have loved every minute as I'm sure yours have too.
As life is slowly returning to normal it is important to consider our dogs now whilst there is still time to help them prepare for the big changes that are going to happen to their world.
The most important aspect of preparing a dog for life after ‘lockdown’ is to do everything slowly. Make sure to do things gradually and don’t rush anything. This is why starting as soon as possible is very important.
Most of our dogs have spent time alone before lockdown so although they may miss us at first, if steps are taken gradually they should be fine to do so again.
Top tips for preparing your dog.
Consider some of your dogs main needs. The following list is a good starting point though you may discover more for yourself.
- Toilet Breaks
- Time Together and Cuddles
Working slowly is the key so as not to upset your pet. By gradually making the changes necessary from where you are now to where you will be after lockdown will ease the process for your dog. This can be done with all of the bullet points listed above.
For example, if you walked your dog regularly at 6pm after work before the lockdown began then you should consider returning to that same routine once again in preparation; or if you fed your dog twice a day before lockdown then consider also making this the new routine once again. When the time comes to return to full time work these will no longer be a change for your dog to have to adjust to.
If, like us, you have enjoyed taking your dogs on extended walks during the lockdown period they might miss them once they stop all of a sudden when you go back to work. Again, to avoid this, gradually reintroduce the new regular times into your pets routine now. For example if your evening walk before lockdown was for 20 minutes and now you are walking for an hour, each day finish your walk a couple of minutes earlier and gradually return to your 20 minutes.
Next, factor in some time apart from your dog each day. Before lockdown your dog may have spent a few hours a day alone but for the last few months they will have got used to you being around them for most of the time. Gradually increase the time your dog is left alone but once again, do it in stages. Doing this very gradually should help prevent any stress for your dog. They will learn to trust you will return eventually. Don’t feel you are being mean to your dog, remember you are just helping prepare them for the change that is coming.
If you are one of the increasing number of people that used to have to rely on a hired dog walker before lockdown, maybe think about reintroducing the dog walker back into your dog’s life slowly. Maybe they could accompany you on a couple of walks before taking your dog out alone.
Confidence and independence. When you are at home your dog will usually want your undivided attention all day, every day, and it can sometimes be all too easy to give it to them. After all, they are your best friend right? But don’t forget it’s okay to ignore them sometimes too. In fact, it is important that you do in order to teach them confidence and independence. Helping them to once again become accustomed to their own company will help when you are not there after lockdown.
Whatever your dog's particular needs (and only you will know them well), if you rush the reintroduction of normal life for your dog then they may struggle and become unhappy and stressed. Making small changes to your dogs routine gradually, will ultimately result in a much more positive experience for you and your pet.
If you find anything in this blog useful please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom or share it with your friends. Thank you to all our loyal customers for supporting us at this difficult time. We look forward to getting your dog’s kitted out with their brand new dog coats as soon as possible.
Wishing you all the best. | DryDogs.co.uk team.