How to help your pooch cope with the life after lockdown
It's been an incredibly turbulent year, especially for dogs. Not only has there been a boom in dog ownership there has also been an increase in dogs needed to be rehomed as both owner and pet have decided they are just not the right fit. Both for financial reasons where the owner may now not be in a position to support a dog, or indeed where the lifestyle changes bought on with lockdown have meant long periods left in the house or indeed too much time in the house.
All these factors have created upheaval for both pooch and parent. So, whatever your circumstances make sure you think about the implications of lockdown lifting:
- Have you been working from home for months and therefore more able to go walkies throughout the day, more often or in more structured way? How will your dog cope then if you return to the office? Can you take them along or can a friendly neighbour continue those daytime excursions? To go from one extreme to another will have an impact, so think about how you can transition your dog along with your lifestyle changes.
- Has the pandemic meant you can no longer financially support your dog, with food & vet bills. If after reassessing your budget you have no other option, choosing the right animal shelter is the important next step. Make sure its reputable and has a good list of people waiting to rehome animals. Visit without your dog first to see whether you’re happy with the policies and talk through what will happen. Be comfortable with your decision, get all the information and make the best decision for you and your dog.
- Dogs love routine and with the lockdown lifting you may find your normal routines and structure which gave you purpose to your day will now shift. Whilst this is not a bad thing, be aware your dog will have got used to the rhythm of the day and making any changes, however small, may see an impact on their behaviour.
- If you bought a puppy in lockdown, lucky you! However, be aware with the restrictions in place we have not been able to be as sociable as normal. Taking your 1yr old pup out for walks or to meet friends could feel overwhelming for your young pal, so be aware, they may have some behavioural issues to overcome from just not socialising properly as a puppy. Go slow and steady, they will catch up!
- Separation anxiety in all ages of dogs will be an issue as we return to work, they’ve got used to you being around, hearing your voice and being available for a cuddle whenever they need one. It will take some getting used to, but they will learn how to cope without you again but make this change slowly if you can and be prepared for some out of character behaviour as they adjust.