Being in isolation with your pets can be both soothing and stressful. Here are Fergus The Lab and his human Aimee’s tips for staying healthy while staying home, during isolation.
Aimee and Fergus are well known on Instagram for their beautifully composed, action shots from their weekly walks. However, since the floods from storm Dennis and now the current lockdown restrictions, Aimee has had to re-think ways for Fergus and his sibling Bonnie to stay active and entertained whilst staying home.
“No.1 on our list is exercise. I’m loving finding new hidden gems closer to home. I honestly thought I knew my local area really well and knew all the local beauty spots. However, I’ve definitely found some new places to visit on foot.”
Aimee has also been doing a lot of training with Bonnie in the garden. Coming up with different ways to keep both dogs amused indoors, through training exercises and mental stimulation.
“Keeping them occupied whilst at home is so important. I’m making sure I keep their minds busy whilst maintaining their level of fitness with different activities.”
Labradors are known as working dogs as they were bred to be working companions, for fishermen. This means that along with having an instinctive need to socialise, they also have a natural abundance of energy that needs to be burned off.
For Fergus’ younger sister (Bonnie), Aimee uses the pup’s character traits in order to stimulate her, while learning and practicing skills and tricks at home. As a young pup this really helps in wearing her out.
The following are easy to try at home:
• Scatter feeding or hiding food/treats under boxes or wrapped in rags inside a treat ball.
•Try using puzzle feeders with varying compartments for them to search and work out.
• Set the garden up with activities and obstacle courses.
•Just run around and play whilst practicing simple command and follow ‘walk’, ‘follow’, ‘stop’,’sit’.
Lots of positive reenforcement will keep them interested.
“Two has to be diet. Fergus eats a good quality, high protein kibble, which allows us to monitor his food intake as well as maintain a healthy, balanced diet.”
“Next is supplements. I also give him turmeric. However, we came across *Antinol when it was delivered to my work place. Fergus is a healthy dog, but being a Labrador I try to preempt any life long issues he could have. We’ve since become brand advocates.”
“Four: Don’t lose touch with your vet!”
Aimee is a healthcare professional who specialises in the use of ultrasonic imaging devices to produce diagnostic images, scans, videos or three-dimensional volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data. Bonnie her youngest dog has also been trained to help Veterinary students, in their studies of anatomy.
“Bonnie’s so chilled, (before lockdown) she’d happily just lay there while they’d point and name the different areas of her body.”
Being in the industry you must really appreciate the work clinics do.
“Yes! I’m both an animal and NHS sonographer. For me having a good relationship with your vet clinic is key!”
Although it’s much harder at the moment to have that continued interaction with vet practices, many clinics are proactively working to establish other platforms of engagement to reassure pet owners and continue to maintain a high quality of patient care.
There has been a dramatic rise in the number of cats and dogs being re-homed since isolation was enforced, who do you think gets more out of the bond between people and their pets or is it equally advantageous?
“That brings us to the last (but, not least) on our list: companionship. For me having Fergus helps me push myself to get out, but in return he is showered with lots of love and attention. We both just like to have fun together. All you need is love and a dog!”
Thanks Aimee, I really couldn’t agree more. Having Baloo has really helped ground us as a family, during isolation. She’s a good distraction and in some ways total therapy to have around.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article, let us know your thoughts on pet parenting during isolation in the comments below. And if you’d like to see more of Aimee, Fergus and Bonnie make sure to check out their grid.
Berrit, Aimee & Fergus 🐾
*Antinol® is a natural joint support supplement which supports the natural anti-inflammatory action of the body’s metabolism, helping to keep joints healthy and to maintain mobility. Aimee is a brand advocate for Antinol, but opinions listed are her own.
**This is not a paid article.