Dogs Trust

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Advice for dog owners who need to self-isolate and stay at home

Spud with a purple snuffle mat

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Dogs Trust is issuing some top tips on how dog owners can keep their dogs happy and active at home if they need to self-isolate due to coronavirus. 

“We understand that dog owners may be concerned about how to look after their dogs given the most recent Government guidance encouraging people to stay at home.  

“If you are unwell, try to make alternative arrangements for someone to look after your dog while staying 2 metres apart, or, if you can, arrange for your dog to stay at a boarding kennels, until you feel better, so your dog can continue with their normal exercise routine. Current Government guidance is that it’s okay to go outside once a day for exercise, this can include walking your dog, if you are self-isolating, but to keep your distance from others so you may wish to avoid popular dog walking spots and keep your dog on-lead. If that’s not possible, there are lots of ways to keep your dog happy and healthy within the comfort of your own home.

“From activities involving their favourite treats, to building doggy dens and treasure hunts, there are ample ways you can keep your dog active, without stepping outside your front door.” 

Top tips 

  1. Have a treasure hunt – hide some of your dog’s favourite treats in different rooms around the house and see how quickly they manage to locate them.
  2. Play their favourite game – Catch? Fetch? Tug of war? They’re all great fun to your dog! Show them some love by spending time playing their favourite game with them.
  3. Make them their very own Snuffle Mat! - A snuffle mat is an enrichment toy that encourages your dog to sniff and search out hidden treats amongst the mat.
  4. Build them a Doggy Den - has your dog’s bed been looking pretty well lived in recently? Create your furry friend a cosy, comfortable place to sleep.
  5. Teach them some new tricks! With our easy to follow Dog School videos

Currently there is no evidence that the virus responsible for COVID-19 can be transmitted from dogs to humans (or vice versa), but we will continue to monitor this and take guidance from the World Health Organisation.

When caring for a dog it is important to remember that basic hygiene is key. This includes washing your hands before and after handling them, as well as avoiding kissing, being licked or sharing food. If you have tested positive for Coronavirus we would recommend limiting physical contact with your dog as much as possible too – as hard as it may be. 

For more information, please refer to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association guidance.