Most dog owners will tell you that their pets have never felt happier than now, as lockdown to combat the Coronavirus has forced many of us to stay home.
While for some, such as health workers, retail and transport staff that is not the case, for many people teleworking from home is the new norm. People are also spending more time with their pets. But there are some important do's and don'ts when it comes to this new enforced, albeit often lovely, environment.
Scotties will get frustrated by being indoors a lot. So walks are still essential. But their mental health needs stimulating too. And when it is all over and we return to some normal work arrangements, including the daily commute, there is the anxiety that dogs will suddenly feel as their utopia is replaced by a familiar old routine.
Here I share with you some tips on keeping your Scotties happy during and after lockdown, social distancing and self-isolation.
We have been encouraged not to bulk-buy at the supermarket to ensure everyone can get essentials. But storing some long-life food for your pets is important. Keep a good stock of your dogs' food in the store cupboard just in case you fall ill and not able to get out to shop. Remember to rotate the food items using old stock first - a bit like they do in the supermarkets!
Don't go too mad on the treats between meals. Weight gain for your Scottie Increases risk of heart failure and joint problems
If walks have to be cut short due to lockdown procedures tightening, feed your dog a smaller quantity of food as he won't be able to run off his meals.
You may need to look at protein content. If exercise isn't possible then feed a food with lower protein levels. Try to stick to same brand. Just swap flavours or if changing brands swap over slowly to avoid upset stomach.
I recommend Chapple as it's the most basic food. I always keep some in stock if a dog has an upset tummy, I use it. If a dog has behavioural issues and is hyper I also use it.
For Scotties with difficult livers and pancreatic issues a low fat diet is recommended. Again Chappie is great.
Milk thistle is also used as it cleanses the liver.
Most liver supplements are made up of this herb.
Mental health of your Scottie
Maintaining mental health is as important for your dogs as it is for you during the challenges of lockdown.
Furthermore, given as we are encouraged not to walk around too long during the lockdown, the next tip will work well with that regime as well as solve another challenge: Scotties' mental well-being.
You can play games with your dog as mental stimulation tires a dog quicker than a long walk.
Hide and seek
Hunt the biscuit
Specific dog games are great. Most have a treat inside and plastic pieces have to be moved with paw or nose.
These games are to be played with you present and for short periods of time.
If you have no games for your Scottie, you can improvise! Get a 3 or 4 plastic (non-transparent!) cups or tin cans. Put a treat underneath one of them. Move around and ask your dog to find it. Passes some time and is fun for everyone!
Walkies Survival Kit
Remember when out walking don't let people stroke your dog in case they are infected as the infection can be carried into your home and passed onto yourself if you stroke the dog and touch your mouth, eyes or nose. According to the latest medical research, dogs cannot get this virus but can be a host or "carrier".
Make a List, Just in Case
Remember to list your pets food medication and needs. Clearly identifying which dog is which. Keep this list pinned to the fridge or in a prominent place at home.
Make sure friends and family know where the list is just in case you become unwell and get rushed into hospital.
Try if possible to get your dogs to a place of safety if you become poorly. Why? Because your home could be locked down for 72 hours before Dog Warden Police or RSPCA will enter. This is to let the virus die off.
I know this will sound morbid. But please ensure your friends and family know your plans for your pets should the worst happen.
Hi-Ho It's Off to Work We Go
Finally, there is the back to work routine to consider.
Try to maintain your dogs' routine to make it easier for them when life returns to normal. Be prepared to come home to scratched or chewed woodwork or mess in the house - it is all part of separation anxiety.
A good thing is to leave your Scottie in a room. Open and close the front door to make it appear you have gone out but sit quietly in another room reading. This will give the dog some time on his own. Helps to re-foster a routine.
As you may know, London Scottie Club and STECS work together.
Scottish Terrier Emergency Care Scheme (STECS) is the breed rescue dedicated to the Scottie.
We are here to help and will do our utmost to foster your dog until you are well enough to look after him.
We have volunteers all over the UK ready to help care for your Scottie should you become unwell and have no family able to help.
Our volunteers are members of the charity which was set up in 1976.
We also have a list of people who want to adopt a Scottie. Again, these people are members of the charity and are experienced Scottie Owners.
Find out more about STECS via our Links section.
STECS Welfare Officer
About the author
Trustee of charity
Owned Scotties, or should say they have owned me, for the past 35 years. During this time my husband and I have had 32 Scotties of our own and fostered lots more until new homes could be found for them. We have always kept large packs of 10 at a time. We have always taken in older unwanted dogs too.
We currently have 5 Scotties and a Pointer-cross-Labrador who is 14 years old.
The Scottie in the top photo is one of our latest rehomes. He is only 6 months and he was bought from a commercial kennels by a couple in their 80s who found him too much for them. Both had fallen over him.
He now has been rehomed with a family who were on the STECS waiting list.
Take care everyone. Hug your Scotties tight!