• June 19th, 2020
    Written by: Kimberly

    It's been a time of a lot of change - not only for us here in Florida, but also for our dogs. Whether it's more time working from home, more overtime at your essential job, fewer walks, or just their ability to sense from you that something is wrong, dogs everywhere are experiencing change just like we are.

    One of those changes is the presence of face masks. At the moment, face masks appear to be the best way to stay safe outdoors beyond social distancing, which means more owners (and pet sitters) are wearing face masks wherever they go. Dogs primarily know who you are by smell, but they do recognize your face, and a face mask on your face can be something that causes them worry. So what can you do if your dog is scared by your face mask?

    Tips for Getting Your Dog Used to Face Masks

    Not all dogs will care about masks, and some will care very little. But other dogs may experience a more intense fear, especially when they see other people they do not know wear a mask. The following are some of the ways that you can help your dog get used to the masks of you and others.

    • Introduce it Early - Find an extra face mask and place it on the ground. Let your dog sniff a face mask, touch the face mask, and see the face mask. Help them get used to it so that it isn't strange to them.
    • Have them See You Place It - Have them watch you put the face mask on. Then take the face mask off and put it on again. It helps them see that you're still there. When you have it on, give your dog a treat.
    • Wear it - Around the home, wear the mask once in a while and talk to your dog. They'll recognize your voice and smell. If you give them treats, then masks will make them think something good will happen.

    You can also repeat this with family members, so that the masks aren't associated only with you. Always make sure to give your dog a treat when the mask is on (and off) so that it's always associated with positive feelings.