Tag Archives: coronavirus

The best isolation companion ever

I have been a lover of dogs since, well, forever.  And now that we’re in lock down thanks to Covid-19, who better to have as your isolation companion than a dog?

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Companions are those that we choose to spend a lot of time with and, in isolation, mental and physical health can be hard to maintain.  But dogs get us out for walks every day (and sometimes more than once a day – I think twice is better) and research has proven that for mental health – a loyal dog is one of the best supports you can have.

Through the simple act of running you hands through their fur, watching them play, or grooming them, your blood pressure lowers and oxytocin (the hugging hormone) is released. Dogs are experts at unconditional love – even when you’re a bit stressed or depressed at being isolated from your normal life.

Dogs are just plain good for the mental health of their human companions.

Consider that we’ve been locked down for 2 weeks….

  • Izzy and I haven’t fought once
  • We don’t compete for internet access or the television
  • I have more time to cook for Izzy and she’s quite happy about that
  • Our walks are longer, with no time pressures
  • Cuddling in bed is taking on a whole new importance for both of us, particularly as we are back on standard time and having cooler nights
  • Every day – or at least part of it when I’m not working – is a weekend

I hope that one of the lessons we learn from Covid-19 is the importance of pets and that all dog parents will continue to set aside quality time with their dogs.  And for those non-dog people, some of whom are probably going to be divorced this time next year, I highly recommend a dog.

In isolation or not – they are the best companion you will ever have!

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Pet insurance words of wisdom

I believe that things happen for a reason.  This post was motivated by two separate comments I received over the course of the week.

Dog with toothbrush

Reminder: February is Pet Dental Health Month

#1 -You need insurance before something happens

A travel agent made this comment when presenting her pitch at a business networking meeting.  She was talking about travel insurance in context of the coronavirus outbreak.

People who have had travel booked for a while are getting in touch wanting travel insurance in case their trips are cancelled due to the virus.  Her advice:  too late.  You need to buy insurance as soon as you book a trip.  Straight away.  Now that coronavirus is a known risk, no insurer is going to cover it.

The same is true of pet insurance.  Insurers will ask you for your dog’s medical records to review and if they have a diagnosis or previous injury, don’t expect coverage.  They’re called pre-existing conditions.  (There are also things like exclusions – French Bulldogs often have an exclusion for airway surgery, for example, because so many of the dogs need this surgery).

So when I see posts on Facebook saying “My dog just broke his leg and needs surgery and I need pet insurance now” I think the same thing:  too late.

#2 – If you are struggling to pay for insurance, you’re probably the person who needs it the most

This one was personal advice given by a veterinarian.

In her experience, if a pet owner can’t reasonably afford insurance payments, chances are they are even more at risk of being unable to pay when the pet’s needs are acute  – surgery or illness.

Pets are our family, companions, and friends.  They are good for our physical and mental health.  But they are not cheap.  And so anyone who is taking a pet into their life really needs to understand that most pets, at some time in their life, need more than a vaccination, health check, or flea treatment.  If you don’t have insurance, how will you pay for necessary care?

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand