Survival Guide AWK - Flipbook - Page 9
eing under one roof with my family all day
has me feeling like I need some space. How
can I get Zen when we’re all in such close
A. Every dog should have their own den in a quiet
part of the house, that’s off-limits to everyone
else, including small children. Use a crate or a large
cardboard delivery box with a blanket over the top
and bring your bed and favourite toys inside. This
should not be locked, but instead somewhere you
can choose to come and go.
ome of my pals say that spending all day
with their owners has them feeling nervous
about being separated once all this is over.
How can we ease back into normal life?
A. Don’t wait until lockdown ends, start spending
some time apart now. This can be as simple as
time apart in different rooms, using a baby gate if
necessary. Owners, take note; dogs are super
smart and pick up cues that you’re leaving the
house which can cause stress. Try changing up
your routine and don’t make a big fuss when you
return - dogs will wait anxiously for this attention
and might take it out on your furniture or start
barking, calling you to come back.
STAYING HEALTHY IN LOCKDOWN:
OUR VET’S TOP TIPS
Feeling under the weather? A little anxious? Missed your regular health check or worried
about your weight? We hear you.
We picked up the dog and bone for a chat with Urban Mutts’ resident vet,
Dr Ciara Clarke. Here’s the 411 on staying healthy and happy in lockdown:
ne for my friends living in small spaces or
without a garden; how can we make the
most of our daily outing?
A. Mix up your walks to keep things interesting! Take
a left instead of a right out the door and
remember to stay two metres apart (that’s two
Great Danes or eight Chihuahuas to you and me). If
you live with a few humans, ask them to exercise
in turn so you get two walks instead of one. Dogs
see the world through smell, so allow for lots of
sniffing time. I call this “reading the pee-mail”!
Q. I ’ve been feeling a bit cooped-up lately and
have a confession...this week I chewed a
table leg. Not my finest hour and let’s just
say...I’m in the dog house. How can I curb my
boredom in a more constructive way?
A. It’s easy for silliness to get the better of us when
we’re bored! Ask your humans to make you
interactive feeding toys with all those toilet rolls
they’ve been using! Pop some treats and wrapping
paper inside and scrunch either end to make “food
crackers”! If chewing is your thing, try gnawing on
a frozen Kong stuffed with fish paste, peanut
butter (xylitol-free) or carrots for the weight
conscious. Boredom be gone!
Q. I ’m moving a whole lot less than normal, but
I want to stay in shape and keep light on my
paws. Should I adapt my diet while we’re in
Q. I was due to go for my annual health check
last week, but can’t get to the vets. Where
can our owners seek information and advice
if they’re concerned about their dog?
A. Extra weight can lead to pain, inflammation and
disease, so if your exercise is much less than
normal, then I recommend reducing your portions.
Instead of gobbling your breakfast and dinner,
meals can be made more fun with a slow feeder
bowl or a food treasure hunt around the house!
A. Vets are working and continuing to care for unwell
pets, just in a different way. If you have a health
worry, telephone your vet practice first. If your vet
doesn’t have virtual appointments, First Vet are
currently offering free video appointments for all
UK pet owners. You can also use this helpful Symptom
Checker, for advice on what you can do at home.
By Dr Ciara Clarke
Urban Mutt’s Resident Vet