The coronavirus pandemic has drastically affected life not only for us but for our dogs too. While you might think your dog enjoys having you home all the time. Have you noticed your dog acting like your shadow and following you from room to room? Normally, when you leave for work and school each day, your dog gets the chance to take naps and decompress from all the fun they have with their family. But now you’re working on the sofa they use for their morning nap, the kids want to play fetch non-stop and there is no quiet space to escape to and calm their anxious mind. Just like when you get annoyed with your family members cooped up in tight quarters, it’s natural for your dog to be overwhelmed by your constant presence. Instead of getting frustrated with your dog, see life through their eyes and provide them with support to navigate their new home-life schedule.
MAINTAIN A ROUTINE
Dogs thrive on routine and stability so even if you’re working from home try to feed, walk, play and give them quiet time at the same time every day. While other things around them seem out of control, they will find comfort in having this daily schedule.
CREATE A QUIET SPACE
Make sure your dog has access to a space that is quiet and comfortable, most importantly, is off limits to others engaging with them. It’s a safe place for them to escape from the busy household.
PROVIDE MENTAL STIMULATION
You might find it cute that your dog is laying at your feet during your conference calls, but it very well could be a result of your dog being bored. Combat your dog’s monotony by giving them interactive toys that reward them with a treat or feed them with a food puzzle. Give them a break from the indoors and let them explore outside, even if it’s just a 15min wee and sniff around the block, this engages their sense of smell which releases the feel-good hormone Dopamine.
BURN OFF ENERGY
Engage your dog in regular rigorous play and exercise to help them burn off their pent-up energy. This could mean a tug of war game during your lunch break or if you have no time for this due to work pressure use a professional dog walker and let them burn off your dog’s energy with some of their other doggy friends.