Preventing ‘Covid Contouring’ & RSI in Pets during Lockdown

Currently most dogs are in a very happy mental state as they have their owners’ home 24/7. Returning to work however means all owners should start gradually preparing their pets to cope with a return to separation. We will offer some tips later on that topic, but for now there are a couple of immediate concerns we need to address.

Part 1: Walks

Normally not an issue of concern.

However, we are seeing an increase in the number of pets, for whom all these new, totally  unprepared-for regular and multiple daily walks, are triggering a worsening of a pre-existing injury or heart or disc problem, that had gone undetected up to now.

Always watch your dog carefully on any walk. If they start to slow down or drop behind you on the walk, when normally beside or in front of you-then take note. Watch how your dog is walking, their breathing rate and general level of happiness or unhappiness and be alert to any RSI pain in your pet.

There is a hilarious video of a Queensland Labrador who protests walking by lying down, ‘playing dead ‘and refusing to budge. By happenstance the other day, a labradoodle walking along Shellharbour beach cycleway did exactly the same going-on strike action. For reasons best known only to the dog, they had had enough and wanted to go home. For some normally anxious dogs, there are simply too many dogs and people out and about at the moment. Going for their walk sees them ‘flooded’ with a barrage of events that terrify them. If this is your dog, it is perfectly ok not to walk them as much, if at all, until life is calmer for that dog.

Part 2: Treats & Obesity.

We are seeing what we now christened ‘Covid Contouring’ as the shape of many animals expand from living alongside and co-sharing their human owners multiple daily treat snacking. Not good and especially not good when this unfit and now overweight dog is also taken for unaccustomed walks. I read elsewhere an excellent veterinary comment “Exercise is for Fitness” Food is for Fatness’ in pets.

It takes an extraordinary amount of exercise for a pet to lose weight but only a tiny increase in food intake for a large weight gain. Many commercial treats are high fat, high preservative and high salt; some are 28X the recommended salt level. Many supermarket treats are product of China and have been the subject of previous food recalls.

If you have to treat your pet either try: to take it from their daily food ration or use small amounts of fresh chopped carrot or apple (as long as your pet is not allergic) or EDUC treats.

We love EDUC’s low calorie, low allergen, low salt recipe and most dogs go nuts for them.

To read more about EDUC, our previous article on our website will give you all the information you need:  https://www.oakflatsvet.com.au/educ-dog-treats-rc-product-review/