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Lockdown Rescue Dogs: Managing Anxiety

Lockdown was tough for so many reasons, but it had one huge benefit for us as a family, and that was getting a dog. I know it's a cliché getting a lockdown dog, but this was something we had wanted to do for a very long time. We didn't want a puppy though, and I had been home-checked by two different dog rescues, but never found the type of dog we wanted. Then I found a charity who rescue gun dogs from Cyprus and within a month we had been matched to Lewis, who had been found starving by the side of the road. He was just under 12 months old and had had a rough start in life.

Lockdown rescue dog

Lockdown was unsettling for him, but for such different reasons to those who already had a pet dog. A survey carried out by Purina Petcare found that nearly half of all dog owners surveyed found that lockdown had an impact on their pet. Our experience has obviously been very different, because we didn't have him in our lives prior to that point. We've had our ups and downs with him, we have had to learn his likes and dislikes. We found out relatively quickly which foods he was sensitive to, and how much exercise he needs (a lot)! It took us almost up to a year to find food that he was totally happy eating and that didn't have an impact on his stomach. I really hadn't thought about the fact that a dog might be sensitive to certain meats or grains, but we found this through trial and error with him. It is hugely important to have a good balanced diet for your dog. There is plenty of information out there for anyone wanting to do more research. Purina is very well-established, and a reliable source for science led pet nutrition.

Cyprus rescue dog

Now that lockdown restrictions are a thing of the past, many of our pets are suffering with separation anxiety. Despite this, only 20% of pet owners surveyed said that they would reassess their dog's diet in an attempt to ease separation anxiety. It's incredibly important to understand just how much of an impact good gut health can have on a dog's general wellbeing. It's the same with humans, and we often use phrases such as a 'gut feeling' about something. It's certainly our experience that Lewis has been happier when his gut is more settled, and we have worked out the kinds of food he likes, and his body can tolerate. In his case, the foods he likes aren't necessarily ones that his body tolerates, like pork. He must have that very rarely, as it really unsettles his stomach. A good diet should have a great taste, but also have a great nutritional value too. 

Thankfully lockdown restrictions easing is not something which have an impact on us. Running a B&B and being at home all the time means that Lewis and I have become pretty inseparable, and although that's sometimes a little overwhelming, I do really enjoy it too.

Rescue dog pointer

His life, and ours, have changed completely since he came to live with us. We're all healthier and happier than we were before. Lewis now has a safe home, is absolutely adored by everyone (apart from Dylan the cat), and we have adapted our lifestyle accordingly. He has enriched our lives and we are better for having him as a family member. I wouldn't change a thing about him, but I would stress that it is a process trying to work out the correct diet for your dog, and it's definitely worth researching every aspect.

Disclosure: This is a paid post, in partnership with Purina.