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Tips to Help You Keep Your Dog Mentally Stimulated

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While many pet parents know the importance of giving their dogs physical stimulation, they don’t realize that dogs, like human beings, need mental stimulation too. Various studies suggest that bored dogs can feel depressed, stressed, and apathetic.

Some milder symptoms of a dog lacking mental stimulation include whining, excessive chewing, barking, digging holes, and destroying furniture. More severe symptoms include obsessive-compulsive habits such as spinning, fly biting, self-biting, and incontinence. While managing a dog with this level of anxiety may seem challenging, there are ways to meaningfully improve their behavior through mental stimulation.

Interactive Playtime

Although dogs love playing with toys like frisbees, chew toys, rope toys, and balls, there are more interactive toys available that are designed for mental exercise. Usually, these toys reward smart behavior by dispensing yummy treats.

You can use toys to play with your dog outdoors or indoors. However, a pet parent’s anxiety can come in the way of a dog’s mental stimulation. If you want to know how to keep a dog entertained at home without the stress of a clean-up, then use lightweight and waterproof bed covers that are machine washable and dryer safe. Products like these protect your bed or furniture while your dog enjoys activities that challenge its mind.

 

Creative Games

If your dog is bored with its interactive toys, you can offer mental stimulation by thinking outside the box. For example, you can let your dog work for its treats. Create an obstacle course in your yard with household objects such as boxes or buy some traffic cones. Leave treats at the end of the obstacle as a prize. Alternatively, play a cup game with your dog by putting a treat under one of three cups and then shifting them around.

Social Interaction

One of the best ways to mentally stimulate a bored dog is to let it play with other dogs, as long as you take some precautions.

  • Check first to make sure that the dogs they will be in contact with are vaccinated and dewormed
  • The dogs should be of similar size and age
  • Let them play in a neutral area to avoid territorial behaviour
  • Understand their body language and don’t force them to interact

 

Variety in Walking Routes

How often you walk your dog depends on its breed, age, physical needs, and your schedule. But, most dogs need between thirty minutes to 2 hours of activity every day. A daily walk is good for both you and your pet’s health. It also strengthens the bond between you and your dog.

However, walking the same route every day can be monotonous for both of you. It’s best to take a different route every day by walking around a different block, neighbourhood, or environment where your pet can be introduced to new sights, smells, and sounds. You can even plan a weekly schedule. One day, you can walk through the park and another you can go near a lake that’s accessible to you. Simply driving to a new location can also be mentally stimulating for your dog.

Taking the time to mentally stimulate your dog can be rewarding for you and your pet. All of these activities can strengthen the bond between the two of you and help improve your dog’s overall behavior.

 

Published By Harry Miller

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Health officials report new COVID-19 case in New Brunswick related to travel – NiagaraFallsReview.ca

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FREDERICTON—Public health officials in New Brunswick are reporting one new case of COVID-19 today.

The new case involves a person in their 40s in the Fredericton area.

They say it is a travel-related case, and the individual is self-isolating.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health, says the number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 166, and 163 have recovered.

There have been two deaths, and there is one active case.

Russell says people are reminded to maintain physical distancing and public health guidelines for good hygiene.

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WHO says airborne transmission of coronavirus can occur during medical procedures – Financial Post

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The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus can occur during medical procedures that generate aerosols.

The agency said some outbreak reports related to indoor crowded spaces have suggested the possibility of aerosol transmission, combined with droplet transmission, such as during choir practice, in restaurants or in fitness classes. (https://bit.ly/2Ck7QBo)

The WHO on Tuesday acknowledged “emerging evidence” of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease spread. (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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Nova Scotia reports zero new cases of COVID-19 – CBC.ca

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Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health says he never should have approved a plan to allow three executives from Irving Shipbuilding to travel to America to meet with contractors and then return to work without having to self-isolate for 14 days.

The executives had approval from Dr. Robert Strang’s office ahead of taking the trip. It included strict criteria they had to follow upon their return, including being tested for COVID-19 immediately. But when workers at the Halifax shipyard learned of the exception and complained to Strang’s office, he revisited the situation.

On Wednesday, he ordered the three executives home to self-isolate for 14 days and said the company could no longer engage in business travel to America. An Irving spokesperson said Wednesday that the executives complied with all rules attached to the exception.

During a COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Strang said his review didn’t include whether any of the executives from Irving violated the guidelines established as part of their exception. But he said upon reviewing the plan a second time, it was clear he shouldn’t have signed off on it in the first place.

“Even though safety requirements were part of my approval, the meetings could have been done virtually,” Strang said. “Upon return, the individuals can isolate at home and still manage to work.”

Exceptions will continue to be granted

Strang couldn’t say how many exceptions his office has granted, but said he’s approved plans for workers to come into the province to do work that requires specialized skills and will continue to do so as deemed appropriate. Each request is judged on its own merits and Strang said his office has turned down a number of requests.

“I’ve even turned around a planeload of workers who were in the air, about to land in Nova Scotia because I couldn’t approve the plan because it didn’t provide the right level of COVID safety,” he said.

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In evaluating requests for exceptions, Strang said the lens he views things through is “appropriate protection for [the public’s] health and safety. He would only review plans if people raise issues about them. Although it’s not his job to inform employees when a a workplace receives an exception, Strang said employers should.

“The expectation would be that the company [receiving the exception] would have the appropriate communications so people are aware and they can understand what protocols are being put in place to keep them safe on the worksite,” he said.

His office reviews many plans and requests and Strang said the response won’t always be perfect.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said the meeting the Irving executives travelled to in person could have been done virtually. (CBC)

“I’m not going to get everything I do, of the hundreds of decisions I make every week on this, I will acknowledge that I may not get everything exactly right,” Strang said.

“But I’m always happy to go back and learn from my mistakes and certainly be looking more intensely about how we make sure that we focus only on essential travel into the province where there is no other alternative.”

4 active cases

Nova Scotia reported zero new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with four active cases remaining in the province.

The microbiology lab at the QEII Health Sciences Centre completed 398 tests on Wednesday and continues to operate 24 hours a day.

To date, Nova Scotia has had 56,227 negative test results, 1,066 positive cases and 63 deaths caused by the coronavirus. One person who previously tested positive for COVID-19 is still in hospital, but the case is now considered resolved.

Proper health and safety protocols

Strang encouraged people to continue washing their hands frequently, keeping surfaces clean and practising proper cough etiquette by coughing into their sleeve or elbow.

He continues to strongly recommend people wear masks when they are in public places where physical distancing isn’t possible and had meetings planned with his federal counterparts Thursday to discuss mask protocol. People should bring a mask with them whenever they leave home, the way they take their keys or wallet, said Strang.

Strang is encouraging people to wear non-medical grade masks in certain settings. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press )

Premier Stephen McNeil said he’s now wearing a mask when he’s indoors in a confined space or someone’s place of work.

“I’ve been out to dinner a couple of times this week [and] I wore a mask into that environment,” he said.

Symptoms list

People with one or more of the following COVID-19 symptoms are asked to visit 811’s website:

  • Fever (chills, sweats).
  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Headache.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Sneezing.
  • Nasal congestion/runny nose.
  • Hoarse voice.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Unusual fatigue.
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste.
  • Red, purple or bluish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers that do not have a clear cause.
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