Looking after your dog during lockdown
So much has changed since we wrote our blog last week on how to keep your pets safe during the Covid-19 outbreak. On Monday evening (23rd) the prime minister announced that everyone in the UK should stay in and avoid any unnecessary travel, stepping out only to buy essential items such as groceries or medicines. So what does this mean for your dog?
Exercising your dog
Under the new restrictions, you are allowed out for exercise once a day. This must be taken in your local area. People driving to beauty spots to exercise their pets are being stopped by police and told to go home and given leaflets advising them to stay in their local area. This may seem an extreme measure for people visiting wide open spaces, but people live in these isolated areas and they don’t want lots of people from outside of the area coming in and potentially spreading infection. The Covid-19 Coronavirus can live on some surfaces for several days and walkers will be touching gates, latches and styles as they pass through the countryside. So stick to your local area, make the most of your walk and take some cues from your pet. They are blissfully unaware of the situation and if you have been sent home from work or are working from home they are probably really enjoying having you around. As one friend told me, seeing his basset hounds rolling around in the sun really helped put things into perspective. Yes we have a lot to worry about at the moment but try living in the moment like your dogs and it will help you get a handle on the stress.
Dog walking Photo by Johann on Pexels
The new rules state that no more than two people should gather at one time (I guess this doesn’t count if you are a single parent with more than one child) so if you are a family of four or more, try splitting up so your dog gets two walks a day. Always practice social distancing – this means standing 2 metres (6’.5”) away from anyone you meet on your walk. It is OK to talk to other dog owners from this distance and it is probably a good idea to keep your dog on a lead if there are a lot of dog walkers about as when two dogs get together, it will bring their owners close together too and you should avoid placing yourself (or anyone else) in this situation. If you are worried about keeping your distance try and choose a time to walk when there are less people about. The clocks go forward this Sunday (29th March) so the evenings will be lighter and you will have more time to walk.
Seeing the vet
Most veterinary practices are only treating emergencies but are still supplying medicines. If your dog has regular medicine for ongoing conditions or you need flea or worm treatments then it is best to ring up and place your order then collect them so that you minimise the amount of time you spend waiting around at the practice. Some vets are allowing people to pay by card over the phone too. If you have to pay in person then use a card rather than cash. The contactless limit is going to be raised to £45 in the coming days so if you can tap to pay then please do so.
Puppy Photo by Lydia Torrey on Unsplash
Feeding your pet
Pet food stores have been deemed ‘essential’ by the government so if your dog is on a special diet that you can’t buy in the supermarket you should be OK to get it in your usual store. Some stores are also delivering locally so if you can reduce the amount of times you need to go out by having your food delivered instead then we recommend that you do so.
Dalmatian Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels
Dogs in isolation
If you are self-isolating because you are in one of the groups deemed to be at high risk from the disease, you have coronavirus symptoms or you have a confirmed case of Covid-19, then your dog will have to stay in with you. The virus can stay on surfaces such as fur or your pets lead or collar for some time so don’t get someone else to walk your dog if you are self-isolating because you risk spreading or catching the virus this way. If you have a garden walk your dog around outside, play fetch or set up on agility course with things you have lying around (a broom, chairs, etc). If you are indoors (and you are well enough) then you can play fetch or run from room to room. Try hiding some treats for your dog to find or teach them some new tricks. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube for this.
Dog in bed Photo by Burst on Pexels
Most importantly, be sensible. Don’t take risks and stay safe. We won’t be on lockdown forever. All of our products are still currently available to order online so this could be a good time to practice your pet grooming skills too - just don’t be tempted to cut your own hair, that never works out particularly well!
Main Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels