Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t bring us any more drama, it unfortunately has. All of Melbourne is back in lockdown again as of July 9 and this time round it feels like an even bigger drag, because we’ve already been here before! One silver lining for those dog owners amongst us is more valuable time with our furry friends, who’ve no doubt gotten used to us being around the house quite a lot since March (which feels like an eternity ago now). However, just like us humans, living in lockdown can also have a big effect on the mood of our pets. So as we go through lockdown round II in Melbourne, The Pets Hotel team have put together this list of 4 strange dog behaviors to keep an eye out for – key signs your furry friend(s) could do with a little extra tender loving care during these strangest of times.
1. Your dog is extra clingy
Dogs are naturally affectionate, highly social creatures who have an innate biological need for regular interaction with others, unlike cats who are much more adept at practicing “social distancing” on their own terms! If you notice your dog is extra clingy whilst you’re isolating at home, it could be a sign they’re experiencing some degree of physical discomfort, which usually begins in the musculoskeletal system. Anxiety could be another cause – especially if you’ve been exhibiting symptoms of stress yourself. In this situation, a full check up at your local vet could be the best step forward. RSPCA have a number of quality clinics across Melbourne.
2. Your dog is moody and withdrawn
Research published earlier this year established the concept of “emotional contagion” in pet dogs or in other words, dogs feel what we feel and can mirror our own traits quite closely. If your furry friend has been acting really moody or withdrawn lately, first reflect on your own behavior – it’s likely they’re just mirroring what they’ve seen from their master. And let’s be honest, we can all cut ourselves some slack right now!
A simple way to address this is to give your dog plenty of extra reassuring hugs, cuddles and to try speaking to him/her in a happier voice. A little positivity will go a long way right now :
3. Your dog is more aggressive than normal
Another strange dog behaviour you may be witnessing during lockdown round II is more aggression than normal from your furry friend. Whether that’s biting or scratching the furniture or just jumping around much more than normal, this is likely the result of two causes – anxiety or boredom. The boredom speaks for itself and this can especially be a problem for more active, energetic breeds of dog who may need to be taken for two walks a day and given plenty of play time to burn off their energy.
The anxiety on the other hand, could be a form of “displacement behaviour” – a way for your pet dog to deal with new stressors, such as having people around ALL the time. To deal with this anxiety it’s important to give your dog plenty of hugs and reassurance, whilst also ensuring they have their own space, for when they need some time out from all that extra human attention.
4. Your dog is barking a lot
Whilst far from a strange dog behavior, extra barking than normal during a lockdown/working from home scenario can mean one of several things – anxiety, boredom, loneliness, territorial assertiveness or simple playfulness. Whatever the underlying cause, barking is a way for dogs to gain attention and communicate their mood. Ensuring you give your furry friend plenty of attention and carefully reading their body language for signs of what’s up is key here – do they need more food or water? Are they agitated their normally quiet space has been overtaken by humans sheltering at home?
These 4 signs aside, don’t forgot the importance of structure to your dog’s everyday life – by ensuring they’re well fed and hydrated, exercised daily, ideally with a brisk walk around the neighbourhood, given plenty of love and attention and they end each day with a good night’s sleep!
Despite the second lockdown, The Pets Hotel in Melbourne is open for business as usual for those who need to use our Doggy Daycare service. Meanwhile The Pets Hotel Country Club is outside the lockdown zone is semi-rural Lara. Keen to learn more about us or make use of our services? Contact our friendly team on (03) 9646 3696 and (03) 5282 1286!