14 April 2020
By Elaine Murphy
With families confined to the home at present we are all learning to adapt to a new environment and to modify our everyday behaviours. Cork County Council is reminding pet owners that our canine companions are going through a significant and sudden adjustment too.
“With the current restrictions in place, dogs are experiencing increased interaction with adults, teens and young children at home. This, combined with a curtailment on their normal exercise routine, can lead to confused behavioural cues and signals for the dog and can be dangerous in terms of canine innate dominance and territorial aggressive behaviour. Children in particular can provoke unpredictable reactions in dogs.” says Cork County Chief Veterinary Officer, Edmond O’Sullivan.
Mr O’Sullivan recommends dog owners be mindful of the disturbance to their pet’s daily routine and to be aware of any changes in their dog’s behaviour. “We urge households to discuss the importance of interacting in a safe and consistent manner with their family pet during this time. Now is also a good time to check in on your dog’s physical health. With people inevitably interacting more frequently and closely with their pets the potential for the transmission of Zoonotic diseases such as ringworm, mange, flea infestation and toxocariasis will increase over time.”
Director of Services of Cork County Council, Louis Duffy, added, “If you have ANY concerns regarding your dog’s behaviour, particularly aggressive behaviour, you are advised to seek the professional advice of your Veterinary Practitioner. This is especially important in the case of large breeds of dogs and those breeds presently on the restricted breeds list in view of their increased potential to cause more serious injury.”
Advice for parents and children around dogs can be found at www.thebluedog.org
Dogs should never be allowed to roam unsupervised and should be on a lead or under full control of their owners at all times. Much like hugging or hand shaking, everyone should refrain from petting other people’s animals at this time.
Restricted breeds list can be found at www.corkcoco.ie/en/environment/veterinary-services