Written by Hollie Williams, founder of Lawoofs of Devon.
The pubs are open!!! And what a relief it is to see that infamous "normality" creep back in.
But that old normality from over a year ago, that we still have distant memories of, is a strange new world for many lockdown pups.
Around 3.2 million pets were bought during lockdown. That's a staggering amount of animals that have never experienced a busy city centre on a weekend, a packed pub over a sunny bank holiday, or even walking alongside a busy road during rush hour. Do you even remember what the traffic used to be like pre-covid? Long queues backed up, everyone hyper stressed and just wanting to get out of there?
These are all potentially very scary situations for your dog, who for the last year, has been living a comparatively sheltered life.
We're all eager to get back out there, and after this prolonged isolation, no one can blame us. There's a few things you can consider doing to help keep your pup happy and safe as we transition back into the good old days.
It's worth designating a dog bag to take with you when you're out. This way you can pack all your doggy essentials in one place.
Pockets are key when looking for a good dog bag. Having separate pockets for each item saves time, and panic, if you're looking for something to distract your barky, I mean adorable, pup in a hurry!
Treats and toys
Remember to reward good behaviour, lots of praise and training treats at the right time lets them know what behaviour is acceptable. Reinforcement from you lets them know they are doing a good job and we know how much dogs like to be the goodest of boys / girls.
Comfort and warmth
The more comfortable you can make your dog the better.Dogs feel safest in a den, take a blanket, that smells like home, for them to lay on and place it under a table, or in a shady area if you are outside in the sun.
Equally in the cold, try using a dog coat, not only will they keep your dog warm, but the sensation of being wrapped up will make your dog feel secure and safe.
Look out for barking and whimpering, shivering, pacing, cowering and excessive licking. These are all signs that your dog is not coping.
Just remember that what is a long missed, and exciting situation for you, may be a scary and stressful situation for your dog. Above all else take it slow, ease them into these new environments and you and your pup will be enjoying normality in no time!