How to meet your dog’s needs when everyone’s at home
20th April 2020
If you are self-isolating and you, your partner, your children and your dog are all at home, there are things you can do to ensure your dog stays happy and properly cared for.
Dogs and children
With the kids off school and spending time at home, it’s more important than ever that you ensure your children know how to treat your dog with respect. Young children especially should be taught to be gentle with your dog and give them space when they need it. Try to get older kids involved in your dog’s daily care, for example, by showing them how to groom or feed the dog properly. This can be helpful if you need an extra pair of hands to care for your dog whilst you’re working from home.
If you can, give your dog their own space in the home for them to retreat to. A utility or spare room which is unlikely to be occupied by others would both work well. Make their personal space comfortable by providing a bed and water bowl, as well as some of their favourite toys, and make sure they can access it whenever they want to if they decide they need a break from the family.
Attention for your dog
You may find your time is occupied with working from home or taking care of your children, but it’s important to find time for your dog too. Get out of the house for a walk with your dog for some fresh air and exercise and play some quick games with them while you’re at home. If you’re busy, try to get other people in the household involved with taking it in turns to give your dog some attention.
Engage your dog by providing enrichment that can keep them interested whilst you’re busy. Give them puzzle feeders to make feeding times interesting and to prolong the experience. Find toys that they are happy to play with on their own, and make your home interesting for them to explore, for example, by setting up a treasure hunt.
In a lockdown situation, your dog might still require veterinary care. If you already have an appointment booked, call ahead to find out if your dog is still able to attend, as the veterinary practice may be accepting emergency appointments only. If attending an appointment, make sure only one adult accompanies the dog, wash hands regularly and use a contactless method of payment.
If you have a small dog, install a Microchip Pet Door so that your dog doesn’t have to tell you every time they need to go outside, which can be distracting if you’re working from home or in the middle of home schooling your children. Make your garden dog-friendly so they have a reason to spend time outside.
An Animo activity and behaviour monitor can help you to ensure that your dog is getting the right level of exercise each day and to spot changes in behaviour that could indicate they are stressed, such as increased barking, scratching or shaking. Monitoring this information with a collar-mounted device means that you don’t have to rely on noticing when something might be wrong or trying to keep track of how much exercise your dog is getting. Even if you are with your dog all the time, keeping track of these things can be difficult in a busy household.