The family dog may revel in having more people at home but a disruption in routine could cause anxiety and behaviour issues.
Dog training expert Lara Shannon says sticking to a routine and playing “brain games” with your pooch will help them fight off anxiousness.
“Dogs like routine, so any changes to this are definitely noticed. Having their ‘family’ around them at home is going to bring them a lot of joy at this time,” she says.
“However, if they tend to be ignored or excluded from being part of the increased family presence, mistreated, subject to arguing or noisy children, or feel the pressure of restricted outings, it could trigger more stress and anxiety in their lives.”
Dogs are sensitive to their owner’s body language and they read changes to our facial expressions, behaviour and body actions.
It’s estimated anywhere between 20 to 30 per cent of dogs suffer from anxiety.
Dogs like routine so try and keep some of your regular activities like a daily walk in your schedule.
Tips to keeping your pooch happy while you're at home:
- Just like other family members they may take a little time getting used to having everyone at home at the same time all the time so be patient
- Training your dog some new tricks such as waving, walking backwards, rolling over and high- fiving to keep them active and alert during the shut down
- Games like a treat treasure hunt around the home, hide and seek, teaching your dog to put their toys away, or even fetch and ball in the house are good mental stimulation for your dog
- Keep your dog’s diet consistent to avoid tummy upsets, probiotics can help
- Practice good hygiene with your dog and remember to wash your hands
- Use this time to build a bond with your dog
- Try to keep your own stress levels down
Lara Shannon, Pooches at Play.
Online resources can be found at Poochesatplay.com