Cork County Council warns of behavioural changes in dogs during lockdown

Cork County Council warns of behavioural changes in dogs during lockdown
File image of a dog looking out the window.

Cork County Council is reminding people to check in with their pets at a time that is just as uncertain for them as it is for their owners.

Cork County Chief Veterinary Officer, Edmond O’Sullivan, advised that pets are also going through a period of sudden adjustment while we all learn to adapt to what is not the new normal.

He said the increased interaction with people experienced by dogs during isolation and the changes in their normal exercise routine can lead to confused behavioural cues.

He said that such confusion in dogs can be dangerous in terms of canine innate dominance and territorial aggressive behaviour.

Mr O'Sullivan warned that children in particular can provoke unpredictable reactions in dogs.

He 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,” he said.

Director of Services of Cork County Council, Louis Duffy, advised people with any concerns in relation to their dog’s behaviour to seek the professional advice of a 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,” he said.

Advice for parents and children around dogs can be found at

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