Social Distancing With Your Dog

Ahoy πŸ‘‹ Long time no blog!

Apologies for the lack of content, I could make a few excuses.. but the important thing is that we’re back with a new post! I hope you’re all doing well, today I’m sharing a few things that have helped us care for Tilly during the current lock-down/social isolation.

I have included a link to The Government’s official advice at the bottom of this page, as well as a few other helpful resources.


Daily walk/important sniffing time

Staying in line with our Government advice, we have been walking Tilly (starting from home) in our local area, with members of our own household, making sure to keep 2 metres from anyone we may pass on our route. 😷 We’ve been keeping Tilly on-lead during ‘lock-down’ to decrease the chance of her coming into contact with people or other dogs – minimising the chance of any cross-contamination.

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As our walks are on-lead currently, I’ve been making effort to make sure we stop for several extra minutes of ‘sniffing time’ for Tilly, so she can catch up on the neighbourhood canine news as well as the leaves, bugs, trees, birds and anything that peaks her interest.

If you’re working from home I definitely recommend making your daily walk the same time each day – routine really helps!

Sunny day? Stay in? We have found all this lovely weather brings a lot of folk out walking/cycling/running along the path to our walk. β˜€οΈ Because of this we leave out the walks on sunny days – something I recommend if your dog doesn’t mind an indoor day!


Enrichment toys & games

Using puzzles and toys to entertain Tilly has been key in keeping boredom at bay. 🐾 Dogs can display boredom differently, so learning to recognise these signs can help you know when to implement a puzzle or two.

Common signs of boredom in dogs include:

  • Excessive chewing
  • Digging in the garden
  • Scratching or chewing up furniture
  • Barking at windows/gates
  • Whining
  • Stealing things (and enjoying the game that often follows!)

I keep a few enrichment toys filled with peanut butter & yoghurt in the freezer, as Tilly always enjoys figuring out how to get the tasty treat, and it keeps her amused a little while. 🐢 You can stuff puzzle toys with small treats or even a whole natural chew to add a level of difficulty.

tilly enrichment covid 3

Adding ‘brain games’ to your dog’s daily routine can really help balance physical and mental exercise for a happy dog.Β 

We get our enrichment toys from Devil Dood Direct, our local pet shop, and occasionally second hand on eBay (pre-Covid). I recommend having a look at Devil Dood’s enrichment toy stock – Emily always has interesting, high quality toys to offer. Look-out for snuffle-balls from Touchango on the Devil Dood website soon!

Marrow bones are great (both raw and dried) as a time consuming activity for pesky dogs. Tilly will go up to 2 hours working on a raw marrow bone, which is great for her teeth, and keeps her from loitering around the barbecue! πŸ—

Joining Facebook enrichment groups opened my eyes to lots of new (and cheap) ways to create activities for Tilly. Every day objects like cardboard boxes, string, old socks and newspaper can all be turned into a game. I was even inspired to make my own snuffle mat. 🧡 Pictures of the completed creation to come!

I found recycled polyester on Ebay in the colours I wanted, as well as some non slip grippy material to adhere to the bottom – and made it up as I went along!


Dogs & hygiene

As we all know, washing surfaces and hands is key in helping control the spread of Corona-virus. Dogs don’t carry the virus, but they are a moving (barking) surface which is impossible not to touch.πŸ– If you think your dog make have come into contact with other people, or even other dogs it may be a good idea to wipe them down before they return inside. 🧼 I recommend dog friendly wipes and some Leucillin spray for quickly wiping down fur/paws/snouts. Washing leads, harnesses, coats, and collars is good practice too.

πŸ’‰Β  We visited our Vets with Tilly last month for her allergy treatment, which meant I stayed outside by the car, and Tilly went into the vets without me. We messaged our Vet prior to making the trip, and the treatment was deemed essential.

Upon return, we plopped Tilly straight in the bath (much to her dismay), and washed her lead, harness, collar and anything she touched in the car. 🧴 I also didn’t touch my car for 3+ days so there was no risk of residual contamination.


Staying prepared

I’ve made sure to have enough essentials in the house to last more than a 2 week period should our household have to fully quarantine. πŸ“ Including:

  • Food
  • Treats
  • Medicine
  • Poo-bags
  • Supplements

If you raw feed I recommend having some freeze dried or kibble alternative on hand in case you are unable to access your food supplier, or if the worst happens and the freezer starts playing up! As tempting is it can be to gather a large stockpile… remember not to buy more than you actually need.


Thank you for reading, what tips and tricks have helped you during these challenging times?

AmyΒ πŸ–€Β & Tilly 🐾

Click to read:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people with animals (UK GOV)

Caring for your dog during the coronavirus pandemic (Kennel Club)

Dog advice during coronavirus lockdown (Dogs Trust)

Do it yourself: dog grooming


*In the interest of disclosure; none of the above mentioned content is paid/collaborative. Simply sharing things we found useful.

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