Lockdown is tough on all of us. An unnatural shift from the busy and free lifestyle we all enjoy to a sudden shift indoors, isolated and idle. What at first was a treat we have dreamt of from our desks - to be snuggled up at home with our dogs all day - is now a decreasingly practical or beneficial reality. Our dogs are suffering too. Used to their daily schedule of walks, daycare, and undisturbed chill out time at home, they are now faced with a short walk followed by a vast expanse of, well, not a lot. Stuck indoors, they are also sensitive to a change in atmosphere, increasing worry and stress in the family. We need to keep them occupied and try to ensure that lockdown impacts our dogs as little as possible. But how? Scatter Feeding Mix up meal times and turn supper into scent work by scattering your dog's portions throughout the garden. Using their noses to search for their snacks is a great way to slow down their eating, to use some brain power and tire them out in the process!
Teach your dog to Settle Designating a specific area in your house where your dog goes to spend some downtime away from you is important. It allows you to crack on with some work and lets them relax, breaking up the long days at home together. If you need help with how to teach your dog to relax and be okay with spending time on their own, head to www.k9anytime.com/lockdown and check out our SETTLE training guide. Keep to your regular routine Although its a real luxury to be spending so much time at home together with our pups, it's important to remember that eventually life will return to "normal" and we will all be heading back off and out to work and our regular busy schedules. For this reason, it's vital that you try to simulate your dog's normal daily routine as best as you can to avoid issues with separation anxiety and dependence once this happens. Where possible, exercise, feed and spend time together and apart from your dog at the same times as you normally would on working days. This is where it helps to teach your dog to Settle, so that as you head off to "work" (though you might only be heading upstairs) your dog spends the time they normally would on their own as usual, and the transition back to working life will be much smoother.
Doggy Daycare K9 Anytime Doggy Daycare remains open for those who are key workers, who aren't able to exercise their dogs as such as they require and who are seeing their dogs begin to suffer as a result of isolation. Currently open 7am-7pm Monday-Friday, get in touch to book your dog in for a much needed play day with their friends. We ask that parents stay in their cars, keep accessories to a minimum (no bandanas etc), use disposable lunchboxes where possible and make all payments via online transfer.