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What steps should I take during the COVID-19 pandemic and self-isolation to keep my dog safe?

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, there has been an increased concern among animal owners as to how they can keep their dogs safe. While COVID-19 is highly contagious and dangerous among humans, current World Health Organization advice is that it does not affect dogs. While health guidelines are subject to change, COVID-19 is a human disease, and there is very little extra you need to do to keep your dog safe during this period.

In fact, self-isolation may be beneficial to your family protection dogs. Dogs are highly social animals with strong needs to spend time within a defined social group. In modern times, the most common type of social group is a human household, and working practices mean that dogs are often left alone for most of the day. Current lockdown measures mean that owners can now spend more quality time than ever with their dogs, which facilitates additional opportunities to train, bond, and go about daily activities together.

Self-isolation should be viewed as an opportunity rather than a setback for dog owners. It affords you the opportunity to strengthen the bond you have with your dog, teach it new tricks, or potentially start training activities such as scentwork. None of these activities are impacted or limited by self-isolation or national lockdowns and should be embraced at this time.