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New Owners In Pandemic Times: Preparing Your Dog For Change

As we begin to come out of lockdown, we have put together some top tips from animal health experts to help you care for your new arrivals and help dogs adjust to changes when many of us go back to work.

New Owners In Pandemic Times: Preparing Your Dog For Change

 

The latest PFMA (Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association) pet population survey has revealed 12 million dogs reside in the UK.

 

It also showed that 3.2 million UK homes have a pandemic pet, with 38% admitting it’s just like having a new baby. Two thirds of new owners are aged 16-34.

 

As we begin to come out of lockdown, we have put together some top tips from animal health experts to help you care for your new arrivals and help dogs adjust to changes when many of us go back to work.

 

Post lockdown, with you being away from home more, dogs need time to adjust.

 

It may mean:

- Fewer walks, play, exercise or they may happen at different times and in different places

- Changes to frequency of outside access

- Less company

- Less monitoring of pet to pet interactions in the home

 

Changes to Covid-19 restrictions may also mean:

- Meeting new people, animals and places

- People wearing face coverings which may make them look and sound strange to dogs

 - Changes in the way you can exercise your dog

 

Here’s what you can do to help you and your pet safely and successfully navigate the changes:

- Familiarise yourself with the signs pets use to tell us how they are feeling

- If you haven’t done so already, introduce your pet to face coverings at home

- Decide your new routine – plan your day around your pet’s needs to provide consistency

- Consider using dog walkers or day care

- Some pets become anxious when left alone. Teach them, with help from pet and vet professionals if needed, that it’s okay to be left alone

- Provide your pet with suitable puzzle toys and activity feeders for mental stimulation

- Introduce familiar and unfamiliar people and dogs gradually, both in the home and outdoors

- Make sure your dog always has access to safe spaces. Actively supervise dogs and children.

 

Also, remember to take your time and don’t rush your pet.

 

Be sure to use positive training methods, using treats and play.

 

Got a new puppy or older canine companion who could do with some training?

 

As wonderful as they are, puppies can be a lot of work. That’s why it’s important to get the basics right so your youngster grows into a happy, healthy and confident dog.

 

Check out https://www.battersea.org.uk/pet-advice/puppy-advice which will arm you with all the info needed when welcoming a new puppy into your home, as well as access to online dog training tips and support.

 

Our friends at the RSPCA have also put together loads of information on how to care and train your puppy, plus look after your dog responsibly during the pandemic.

 

https://www.rspca.org.uk/-/thinking-of-getting-a-puppy-1 for the latest advice.

 

There is plenty of professional help available so please reach out and ask for help.

 

If you have any behavioural concerns about your dog, contact your vet to ensure there are no underlying medical issues.

Check out www.abtc.org.uk/practitioner-directory for qualified trainers and behaviourists.

 

More advice available from:

Dogstrust.org.uk

Battersea.org.uk

Woodgreen.org.uk

Bsava.com/adviceforpetowners

Cfsg.org.uk

 

#NationalPetMonth April 1-May 3

 

Pets and People: Caring For Each Other

#NPM21

Press Office

For media information, images or to speak to a spokesperson about National Pet Month please contact Taz Thornton or Asha Clearwater at Turquoise Tiger on +44 (0)7920 461 044 or email info@nationalpetmonth.org.uk

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