Advice from Dogs Trust for owners wearing face masks

Advice from Dogs Trust for owners wearing face masks

Published at 6:09am 19th June 2020.

3 minute read

The charity, which has a base at Newton Tony, says having our faces covered could be an issue for some of our four-legged friends.

As new government legislation makes wearing face coverings mandatory on public transport, they say this will be a big adjustment for dogs as well as humans. 

As the animals are very good at reading facial expressions, it could lead to them becoming confused or concerned. 

The charity have issued the following advice to help get your pet used to it: 

Step 1

Hold your hand over your face for a moment, then reward your dog.

Step 2

Hold your hand over your face and talk to your dog, then reward them.

Dogs Trust is urging dog owners to get their dogs used to seeing face coverings as part of daily life

Step 3

Cover your face with a scarf or bandana for a little longer. Reward your dog.

Step 4

Start to move around the room with your face covered. Reward your dog.

Step 5

Introduce the face masks. Let your dog see you tying it on, talk to them and move around. Don’t forget to reward them.

Step 6

Repeat from the beginning for other family members and in different places, like outside in the garden.

Dr Jenna Kiddie, Head of Behaviour at Dogs Trust said:

"As face masks become an increasingly common sight in our daily lives, we should make sure our dogs are also able to take this in their stride - without being able to see full faces a dog is less able to interpret human emotion or our intentions. With Government social distancing guidelines firmly in place, it is also useful to be aware of how these apply to our dogs, especially when out on their walks near shops or public transport routes, where they are likely to see people wearing masks.

Although there is no current evidence that dogs can transmit the human Coronavirus (Covid-19) to humans, like any other surface dogs can carry the virus on their leads, collars or coats."

For information on responsible dog ownership, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk.

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