Lockdown 3.0: What should we do differently?
As we struggled to adjust to a bizarre new set of rules and regulations in March 2020, there was one thing we had the exceptional luxury of - understanding. Our dogs, on the other hand, were simply plunged blindly into a strange new life where their routines changed, their home life changed, their social lives changed and even their daily walks changed, with no concept of why or for how long.
One year on and 3 Lockdowns later, it is imperative that we take what we know and what we have learned from this past year and take serious steps to safeguard our dogs from the lasting damaging effects of continued isolation and social restrictions.
While we may not be able to meet and interact in person with others, we are by no means limited in modes of communication. Our dogs, on the other hand, are stuck with us. And only us. Dogs who completely fell out of their socialisation routine suffered immensely more than those who maintained regular interactions with other dogs as normal, and following Lockdown 1.0, K9 Anytime saw many dogs return to daycare with heightened separation anxiety, lost social skills and less confidence than their pre Lockdown selves. K9 Anytime Doggy Daycare remains OPEN Monday - Friday 7:00am - 7:00pm for this very reason. Zero human contact, zero risk, 100% benefit for your dog.
Remember: Dogs don't have to distance
meaning your dog's social schedule does not have to be curtailed, nor do they have to suffer as a result of the restrictions imposed on humans. Unsocialised dogs can become shy, anxious and even aggressive out of fear, lacking the skills to cope with new people, new places and the absence of their parents. Even dogs who 'normally' are confident and robust in social experiences can lose these skills over time as they adapt to new circumstances. Worse still are puppies missing out on the crucial socialisation window between 12-20 weeks. Becoming puppy parents during Lockdown and failing to meet their fundamental social needs is unfair on our youngsters, and is not providing them with the start they need to grow into confident and well rounded adults. This creates difficult resocialisation challenges later in life which can sometimes be insurmountable.
As we abide by rules to stay at home, moving the office into the living room, picking up a new hobby or finally finishing projects that we long neglected in normal life, remember to keep your dog occupied. Filling the long hours can be a task we have all come to know too well, but we have to remember that our dogs need their own tasks, too. Chew toys are a great way to keep your dog's mouth and mind busy, particularly if you play along with them, and can have wonderful oral hygiene benefits. Try our curated range of indestructible chew toys from the Pantry here, or some natural fresh treats to supplement their diet and keep them quiet as they crunch their way through a selection of health boosting snacks here. (The Pizzle in a Qwizl is a K9 Anytimer Lockdown favourite!)
More time at home does not need to equal less time spent active, and the obvious consequences of a more sedentary lifestyle in Lockdown cannot be overlooked. Make sure that your dog is enjoying the same amount of exercise they normally do, even if this needs to be condensed into shorter, higher intensity walks. Take a ball or toy along with you to get their hearts racing and blood pumping, find a more challenging route or simply pick up the pace yourself!
Doggy Daycare provides up to 12 hours of off lead exercise, play time and socialisation. Full, well rounded and stimulating days which tick every single one of our dogs' boxes and making sure their fundamental needs are met in every single visit are exactly what our dogs need to survive what we can only hope to be the last of many Lockdowns...!