After nearly 4 weeks of being at home and routines changing greatly in most houses, have you noticed your dog acting any differently?

Since the State of Emergency was declared in Ontario on March 17th, many have either been laid-off, working from home or working in their usual places of employment but with added levels of stress.  Not only have our routines been thrown off, so have our dogs!

Many dogs pick up on our feelings, stress and anxiety causing them to feel many of the same emotions that we do.  Combine that with a loss of their predictable day, we can end up with a pretty pooched puppy!

So how can we keep our dogs feeling good during this time?  Here’s a few ideas:

  1. Stick to a predictable schedule – if you used to walk twice a day, say once in the morning and again before dinner, try and stick with this.  Also remember that a sudden increase in activity can lead to overuse injuries
  2. Allow or encourage your dog to have alone or quiet time if that’s what they are used to.  Dogs sleep 12-14 hours a day, and seniors can sometimes sleep 18-20 hours a day!  Let them have their beauty sleep
  3. Give them something to do.  Engage the mind!  Consider lick mats, puzzle toys or snuffle mats to help distract their minds
  4. Keep them on their regular diet.  When we are eating at home all the time, it is easy to let them start to snack off of your snack.  It can be easy to let them pack on the pounds and also upset an anxious stomach.
  5. Try to keep yourself health and calm.  If you find yourself getting worked up, stop and take some deep breaths, read a book, step outside and smell the fresh air.  Whatever it is you need to do so that you are only sending positive vibes to your dog.

We’d love to hear how you and your dog are keeping up your routine and managing stress during the time.