The effects of COVID-19 on our companion dogs - By Lisa Hird MCMA


The effects of COVID-19 on our companion dogs

By Lisa Hird MCMA


The coronavirus outbreak has impacted the economy in many ways. From lockdown restrictions shutting down many businesses to limits on mobility, voluntary and enforced, the economic impact has been severe.

The effect of the COVID-19 crisis on the economy has been huge. National income fell by 20% in April, to a level last seen in the early 2000s. One in three households lost income (and two-thirds of the self-employed).

The pandemic has had an enormous impact on our mental health. Economies collapsed, schools closed, families were told to stay at home and put their social lives on hold. The true cost of the economic impact of the pandemic is not yet known, but it will affect our world for decades to come. 

As the country enters what looks to be a long and slow economic recovery, we are now beginning to see the scale at which the first few months of labour market and economic contraction is impacting households in the UK. Some of the nation’s largest research organisations, think tanks and charities are beginning to report on the initial impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and lockdown on household incomes and debt. Findings indicate that those in the poorest households are hit the hardest, with a 15% fall in their median earnings.

One of the less obvious impacts of the pandemic is that hundreds of thousands of families have decided to buy a puppy for company and to help them cope with the stress and emotional upheaval. These puppies have now reached adolescence, and, for many, things have not turned out well. Some have already been relinquished to rescue or sold on to other families. Some of these dogs will have developed serious behaviour problems which may lead to future euthanasia.

Families are finding financial limitations for caring for their dogs and often have no idea how they can help them without spending the precious money they do have coming in.

Having read the doom and gloom predictions, we have produced a short certificate course designed as a road map and optimistic guide to help dogs’ rehabilitation in a post-pandemic world.

The ISCP and Dr Robert Falconer-Taylor BVetMed, DipCABT, MRCVS have collaborated to produce a brand new exciting short course to address these very issues.

This short course is aimed primarily at caregivers to help them identify issues and begin working on these, prior to how our world will look post-Covid.

The award course consists of three modules that examine chronic mild stress in dogs; identifying the problems facing dogs and their caregivers at this time; the financial impact of lockdown; stress and anxiety in dogs; remedies; and the roadmap to recovery.

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