This week, around the country, further COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted. In South Australia, today we enter Recovery Step 2 as outlined by the State Government.

For most of us this means re-starting many of our usual activities, like restarting sporting activities and going back to our places of work. Whilst many of us are excited by these activities, we should consider how the further changes will impact our dogs.

Dog’s are creatures of habit. They know when their meals are due and when it’s playtime. Dogs are also incredibly receptive to human behaviours, emotions and anxieties. COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed our routines and impacted our emotions so our exit from isolation needs to be planned to help our canine friends.

In this blog, we outline three issues your dog may face in isolation, and some tips to help ease them through it!

  1. Separation anxiety
  2. Over eating
  3. Changes in activity

1. Separation anxiety
The problem: Our dogs have been enjoying the benefits of their family being home for longer periods of time. As our kids go back to school and we leave the house more often, our dogs will become increasingly confused and concerned about where we have gone.
Recommendations: To minimise the impact of this change for your dog, practice some ‘alone time’ with your dog. Leave them to play with their toys on their own and allow them time to rest as they would if you were out (most dogs sleep a lot when we are out of the house!) Stick to regular walk times so they know when they can expect exercise.

2. Over-eating
The problem: As our normal diets have changed, despite our best efforts, our dogs diets may have too. They may be receiving more frequent treats (both human and canine varieties), in addition to regular and measured meals.
Recommendations: Take an inventory of what your dog has been eating including meals and treats and compare this to the recommended daily intake for your dog’s size and breed. Start by reducing quantities slowly until your goal is reached. If your dog is asking for treats, try introducing play or practice training games.

3. Changes in activity
The problem: Some dogs will have enjoyed more walks than ever before or more playtime in the backyard with more family members. Other dogs may not be visiting the dog park or grooming facilities like Doghouse Daycare and Grooming. In both cases, your dog’s routine has been changed.
Recommendations: Try to reinstate a routine that is sustainable; regular walks, trips, daycare visits etc. Remember that reinforcing training commands is an effective mental exercise and a great way to provide extra stimulation.

If you need any extra trips to help your dog as we navigate these strange and challenging times, please speak with a member of our team.

For more information about how to help your dog through these challenging and unprecedented times, please contact our friendly and experienced team via email