Dogs and PPE
COVID19 pandemic continues to affect our lives and PPE is gradually becoming an essential item in every household and safety dictates we use it on a regular basis to protect ourselves and our community.
Dogs are funny creatures- they really like familiar situations and feel safe when every aspect of their environment is the same as what they experience regularly. Depending on the dog and their confidence levels as well as their past experiences, any changes are met with suspicion. Face masks and disposable coverings might be one of them.
The government has asked everyone to use them on our outings from the house and enforced their use during all business-related activities that involve coming in contact with other people. This means passers-by at the park will be wearing them, pet care professionals will be wearing them, groomers, vets. Passers-by might not be very scary for our dogs when they remain in a socially safe distance, however, the pet professionals would need to come closer to our dogs in order to offer their services and in many cases these situations are emotionally loaded for our dogs without the added pressure of that professional wearing scary coverings.
In order to understand how scary this might look to a dog, imagine (your pre-covid19 self) being approached head on by a person wearing a hoody, gloves and a scarf hiding their face.
Even if right now we are not considering using a dog walker, a trip to the vet or the groomers, we are not sure how long COVID precautions will need to be utilised and our pups will eventually need a nail trim, annual vaccinations or might even have an emergency (although we all hope they won’t).
Therefore, it is highly recommended we do some preparation before any of the above happens. This is particularly important if we have a puppy or young dog, however, it will be a useful and reassuring life practice for any adult dog as well.
Some tips to help you out are:
⁃ Wear a mask in the house and hand feed your dog.
⁃ Take a portion of your dog’s food out on walks and give them some when your pup pauses to look at a stranger wearing face coverings.
⁃ Ask strangers wearing masks to give your dog a treat a couple of times.
⁃ Check with your vet or groomer to see if they are comfortable with your pup swinging by to see them and get a treat prior to an appointment so you make sure they feel comfortable with PPE in that environment.