By Tara Rippin • 25 February 2021 • 9:11
RSPCA urges dog owners to start preparing now for post lockdown.
“IT’S important to think ahead and begin to make gradual changes,” advised the animal charity.
Following the government’s announcement of the ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, the RSPCA is encouraging pet owners to start taking steps to help their dogs adjust to normal life again.
Sarah Tapsell, one of the RSPCA’s regional clinical animal behaviourists, said: “You may have changed your routine with your dog if you are home more.
“Times for feeding, playing, walking and attention may all be slightly different. Your dog may be getting more or less of these things than before depending on the changes in your schedule.
“Changes in routine are something a dog can adapt to, but it is important to think ahead and begin to make gradual changes before you change your routine again when you go back to work. Otherwise, when things change again suddenly, it may come as a shock to your dog, even if they handled it well before Covid-19.
The charity recommends gradually changing a dog’s routine to match as closely as possible with what its routine will be like after lockdown.
This includes slowly adjusting location and length of walks and feeding times, as well as limiting periods of play and interaction to those times when the owner would normally be available, such as after dinner or in the evening.
“Remember that your dog is a social animal, it is normal for them to want and need to spend time with you” the behaviourist continued. “This means that it is important that you aren’t leaving your dog for too long during the day, or longer than they can cope with.
“Any dog left too long will struggle, with or without good advice to help them to cope.”
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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