Covid Puppies and youngsters!
Have you noticed how Covid not only affected us, but the aftermaths how it has affected our new puppies and youngsters who are part of this Covid season,
As a breeder and trainer I have been able to face lots of behavioral problems and situations with many training clients who have come over to Work and train with our Trainer Nelson.
I'm usually out there when a new client comes with all these situations and explain over and over the same situation with different puppies of different breeds and within the ages that Covid had been present.
The situation now is the lack of possibility of actual socialization, the lock down affects our pets as well and has created lots of behavior problems, like dog aggression, people shyness or aggression, insecurity, lack of confidence . All due to the lack of positive and active exposure to different situations and dogs are kept inside homes with no alternatives to experience all the different activities that enhance our dogs Nervous and psychological system .
On the other side of the Coin People Are Spending More Time With Their Pets
Thanks to COVID-19, more people are home and spending a lot of time with their pets. This is a huge change for both you and your pet. As you are home, you must try to stick to the same routine with your pet. Try to continue to feed them at the same time and let them out to potty at the same time. . Having humans home can be exciting for both cats and dogs, but animals still need to rest frequently to stay healthy but also need the exposure to different situations to keep their minds busy and enhance their view of the real world out there..
Could changes in my home due to the pandemic affect my pet?
There are many ways COVID-19 may potentially be affecting our companion animals in the areas of behavior, health and welfare. Many of us are currently working from home. Animals who were once used to having large chunks of the day on their own have potentially lost their normal routines. Anecdotally, some people share that their animals are loving the extra attention and interaction with their humans while in quarantine together, while others have suggested that their animals seem annoyed with the constant presence of humans. Every individual animal is different and may be impacted in many ways – positively or negatively.
How has the human-animal bond changed during the pandemic?
The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial relationship between people and animals, and changes in that bond could certainly have occurred during the pandemic due to changes in how people are interacting with their pets. These changes largely depend on the individual animal, their needs and the nature of their relationship with their owner before (pre-COVID-19), compared to now. Many of us are experiencing additional stress during the pandemic and this might impact the ways in which we interact with our pets. In some cases, people might be relying more on animals for companionship; in other cases, people might be withdrawn and giving animals less of their time and attention.
The dog that is happy to have their owner home may be enjoying the extra attention and suffer from separation-related behaviors when their humans’ routine goes back to “normal”. Some people may benefit from having an animal with them during this time, especially those that are home alone. The overall impact is going vary depending on the individual relationship between the animal and their human(s).
What is separation anxiety and how do animals experience it?
Separation-related behaviors (SRBs) occur when the pet experiences distress when separated from their people. Common SRBs that are observed include increased activity and whining, attempts at reunion such as scratching the door, inappropriate toileting and destructive behaviors such as chewing or destroying household items. Many behavior professionals are concerned that pets are getting used to having their people around and are losing their ability to cope with being alone. It is important to ensure animals in the home still have some alone time during the pandemic to reduce these impacts. This might include allowing the animal to rest in a separate room for periods of time while working from home, or making sure to leave them home alone during some outings so that they remain used to the experience.
If separation-related behaviors do occur, what treatments are recommended?
In normal life, treating SRB can be difficult to manage because our daily life routines have limited flexibility and often require extended time away for work and school. Working from home provides an opportunity to work on SRBs while avoiding triggers such as extended absences from the home. The general approach to treating Separation-related behaviors SRBs is to pair gradual increases in time alone with good distractions that keep the animal busy and happy. For example, a “snuffle mat” filled with treats,Kongs filled with tibits of bait of food kibbles, Knuckle bones to chew on and feel distracted might be paired with short absences. If the animal responds well to these short absences, the duration can be gradually increased over time. In some cases it can be useful to combine these behavior modification strategies with medications that reduce anxiety (Which we feel are the last resources). These are of course general ideas; individuals should always consult their family veterinarian and behavior professionals, Trainers to get advice for animals with specific issues or problems.
Extensive research shows that animals are beneficial for human mental health. But what about the mental health of animals? The general answer is that animals do not become mentally ill when their problems are natural for them. “Mental disorders are uncommon among animals in nature,” Such disorders would have to be due to genetic faults, but the animals probably wouldn’t survive in nature, interaction with humans is what can make animals go crazy.. wild animals encounter problems that are natural for them: “They can live in fear of predators, have feisty neighbors or struggle to find food.” Such fear and insecurity is a natural state for wild animals and it does not trigger mental illnesses.
In the wild animals do not suffer these Separation anxiety situations, due to the fact that they have free access to great variety of distractions and are not locked up in a enclosed compound were they are subjected to only human company and their personal emotional situations which many times do affect the dogs energy.
a new pet into your home during COVID-19?
The sensitive period for socialization occurs quite early on for both puppies and kittens (the first 16 weeks for puppies and the first 9 weeks for kittens), and optimal socialization includes exposure to lots of different types of people, other animals, environments, sounds and smells during this period. If young animals don’t get appropriate exposure to these various types of stimuli early on, they can develop persistent fears later in life. For example, puppies that do not have appropriate exposure to other dogs might be fearful of other dogs as adults. Socialization for your new pet during COVID-19 while respecting physical distancing measures may be challenging.
However, if you have welcomed a new family member into your home during the pandemic, there are many things owners can do to try to replicate these experiences in a safe way. It is currently possible in most areas to go for physically-distanced walks to ensure exposure to various different sounds, smells and situations. While opportunities for direct contact with other dogs and people are limited, even seeing others from a distance is beneficial. During more restrictive times, owners can still bring stimuli into the home environment. For example, owners can play recordings of different animal, human and environmental sounds and bring items with different smells into the home.
When it comes to independence, behavior professionals are also concerned because young animals may not be learning how to cope with spending time alone. Ensuring your pet has an opportunity to develop independence is extremely important, and there are many ways we can help our pets develop this independence. For example, owners can spend time in a separate part of the house or backyard, or leave the puppy at home when going out for walks or doing errands.
The coronavirus crisis provides us with an opportunity to rethink our lifestyles and consider our relationships with the natural world. Lockdown has provided temporary benefits for many pets and highlighted their social, emotional and economic importance to us. But we need to rethink our position and emotions how they can affect our Pets. Our goal is to make them feel happy and safe, and to be able to accomplish this we must respect the Natural instincts that they are born with and not try to humanize them in search of Our physiological necessities and dependencies
were we create mental disturbances in our loving Pets.