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Preventing anxiety in dogs after coronavirus lockdown ends

The coronavirus lock down has been tough for many people, but for our dogs it has given them around the clock time with their owners. Many of us looking for an excuse to get out for daily exercise have walked our dogs a lot more than we usually would have time for. Dogs have become accustomed to having their owners working from home and will need time to adjust back to a routine that involves being left alone again, otherwise dogs will suffer from anxiety issues in the coming months.

Get your dog used to a routine.

Now is the time to start getting back into a routine with your dogs in order to avoid anxiety issues going forward. Start by feeding your dogs at the same time you will when you’re back at work. Next start leaving your dog for short periods of time while you leave the house without them, gradually build up the amount of time they are left alone. Even being in a separate room to your dog while working from home will help establish a set routine.

Dogs with anxiety can become destructive and chew furniture in your house or bark and become annoying to neighbours, a few simple steps will help ease your dog back into a routine for when you return to work.

Go back to walking at set times. 

Once you’re back at work your dog will likely be back to an early morning walk and an evening walk, start getting back into this routine well ahead of returning to work. It will likely take a few weeks for your dog to adjust back to this routine.

Think about employing a dog walker or pet sitter. 

Once you’re back at work a dog walker can visit during your working day and walk your dog or play with your dog in the garden. This will help with your dogs anxiety and result in a calmer and happier dog. I walk dogs individually or with one other dog and recommend an hour walk for most dogs, older dogs might only require half an hour. For puppies I recommend two separate 20 minute visits during the day, with playtime and a visit to the garden for the toilet.

There are an estimated 8.5 million dogs in the UK with 24 percent of households having a dog. Demand for dog walkers is very high, so you might not get exactly the time you would like, lunchtime is the most popular time of the day for walks so consider picking an afternoon session instead.

Leave your dog with toys to stimulate. 

Leave toys for your dog while you are out, a favourite of mine is a Kong stuffed with tasty treats, this will help your dog to feel settled and happy and keep them occupied. If your dog is a chewer you’ll need to be careful what toys you leave out, but a Kong is tough enough for even the heaviest chewers.

Higham & Rushden Walkies. 

I’m an experienced professional dog walker based in Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire. Unlike most other dog walking services I do not group walk dogs, instead I offer individually tailored walks with a maximum of two dogs together. Each dog gets my full attention and as I don’t transport dogs there is no stress for your pet, walks start and end at your home.  A one hour walk is £12, half hour walks are £7.50. I also offer 20 minute puppy visits which cost £10 for two visits a day.

Demand for dog walking will be high once lock down ends and dog owners return to work. I currently have spaces between 12.30pm and 5pm but expect these to fill quickly. Please get in touch for a free home visit (we will meet socially distanced in your garden) so I can get to know your dog before the first walk. My dog walking service complies with the law regarding coronavirus restrictions, all dogs are walked on my own leads, any meetings with dog owners are 2 metres apart outside, if I am collecting dogs from inside your house I will apply antibacterial hand gel before entering and wipe down any surfaces touched with antibacterial wipes. I recommend a separate harness that I can use for your dog, if that is not possible I recommend leaving your dogs harness on for when I arrive so I do not have to touch it.

References are available on request.  To enquire about dog walking or pet visits please telephone or text Simon on 07595 362270. 

A gorgeous Golden Retriever

Simon has been visiting this gorgeous six month old Golden Retriever for twice daily home visits after she was spayed, as you can see she has been getting lots of cuddles during this time. As well as dog walking we offer home visits for dogs and other pets, in the past this has included cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks and chickens.

Winter walks – Seals at Norfolk

Please do not bring your dog on this walk as it will disturb the seals. 


In late October to February each year, seals come onto the beach at Horsey Gap in Norfolk to have their pups. It’s about two hours drive from Higham Ferrers to Horsey Gap. The best time to visit is late December/early January when you will see many seal pups on the beach. There is a car park (parking charges apply) right next to the beach, bring wellies or walking boots as they paths tend to get very wet. It’s best to avoid the Christmas period as the number of visitors gets very busy. There is a viewing area roped off on the top of the sand dunes giving a good view across the beach, you are not able to access the beach for the welfare of the seals. However if you park further up the coast there are no such restrictions and seals can be spotted all along this stretch.

Please respect the seals and do not approach them too closely, these photographs were all taken with a 400mm lens from some distance away.

Winter dog walking

Winter dog walking brings it’s own challenges, the days are shorter & the weather is often cold and damp. My own Golden Retriever likes to explore the muddiest sections of my garden before heading back in to carpeted rooms. A trick I have found is to stop her at the door with a treat and then dry off her muddy paws before she has a chance to leave footprints all over the carpet, otherwise she will happily run in from the garden and turn my carpets brown before I’ve had a chance to dry her.

Please make sure you leave out a towel that I can use to dry your dogs paws with before they walk over your carpet, a mat by the entrance door also helps with this.

On the plus side the days are now getting longer and I’m looking forward to spring walks.

Dogs at weddings

 

a dog at a wedding

For many people a dog is an extension of their family, so it seems natural for some to include their dog in family events. Weddings are no exception to this and it is becoming more popular to have your dog at your wedding. Sometimes the dog even takes an active roll in the day by being the ring bearer.

dog ring bearer at a wedding

A few things need to be considered when deciding to take your dog to a wedding (be it your own wedding or a family wedding), firstly you’ll need to make sure your dog will be welcome at the wedding venue, then think about who will look after your dog on the day while you have your hands full. There are a few practical things to think about too, muddy dog paws and white wedding dresses are not a good mix! There are lots of food smells at a wedding too, not to mention cake!  If you think it might all end up in tears you could always bring along a life size cardboard cut out of your dog instead.

saying I do at a wedding with a dog