As the world settles into its “new normal” we need to be aware of how this is affecting our pets. Young dogs will have grown up over the past few months seeing humans with facemasks all around them. For puppies and senior dogs this could be more stressful. Dogs use physical cues more than verbal so not being able to see our expression can be disconcerting for them. This could lead to them feeling nervous or even aggressive. The vet nurses on PetGp have come up with some top tips for helping your dog get used to facemasks.
- Choose a quiet time when your dog is calm and let them sniff a facemask. Give them a treat or play with a toy straight after so they know this is a positive experience.
- Lift the facemask to your face several times then reward your dog again.
- Let the mask hang from your ear and reward your dog.
- Put the mask on fully, reward your dog and then remove the mask.
- Wear the mask to have fun with your dog, play a game or go for a short walk.
- Try different styles of mask and ask others in your household to do the same.
- Keep talking to your pet and use a bright happy voice when wearing a facemask.
Socialising your puppy from a very young age is the key to reducing fear, anxiety, aggression and stress in them as they mature. If you need any further information on this please do not hesitate to contact one of our Registered Vet Nurses on PetGP.