otw_shortcode_info_box border_style=”bordered” css_class=”boxed”]Shirin Merchant is India’s pioneering Canine Behaviourist and Trainer. For the past 25 years, she has worked hard to ensure that dogs in India are trained using reward-based methods.[/otw_shortcode_info_box]
Many of you have written in to me, telling me how upset or depressed you are with the current situation and that you are worried about your dog picking up on your stress. Here are a few tips to help you make it easier on your loving pets:
- Spend More Quality Time With Your Pet: Know that we are all undergoing an extraordinary period in the history of mankind and each of us reacts differently to it. Remember, it is normal to feel the way you do. Don’t let fear keep you away from your pet when their sense of security lies in being with you! Rather than staying away from your dog, spend quality time with him.
- Don’t Pretend To Be Happy: Don’t try to hide your sadness from your dog. They know us better than we think! Instead, make time everyday to play with your dog. It doesn’t need to be a structured game, anything goofy that makes you laugh will also do. So, put on your favourite song and dance, sing, jump and have fun with your pooch!
- Give Some Space When They Take It: Let your dog be by himself for short periods of time through the day. It is tempting at this point to be with them constantly, but that can also overwhelm many dogs. Quiet downtime can help them de-stress. When they’re done with their ‘me-time’, they will come to you.
- The List Of 10 Joys: Make a list of 10 things that make your dog joyful and then try do one at least one of these everyday.
- Stimulate Their Senses: Try stimulating your dog’s senses with different smells, sights or even sounds. Just as with us, our dogs’ senses can play a strong role in how they think and feel. Hang up wind-chimes, peel an orange… anything where your dog’s senses will work to focus on the new stimulus. And never forget the power of touch – a gentle massage can be soothing for your dog and equally calming for you to give it!
Do be safe, sane and well!