A dog’s love in lockdown can avoid us going barking mad

Monday, March 30th, 2020

How a dog’s unconditional love and companionship can save you from going barking mad during lockdown

(a guest blog extract from In the Country magazine feature: Dogs, Keeping us sane through lockdown)

At Muddy Matches, we would certainly consider ourselves very much to be ‘dog’ people. On morning arrival, the sight of the farm’s dog bounding up to the car eases any strains of the rush hour commute and spirits are raised when our founder’s family working dogs venture into Muddy HQ, paws fresh from the fields. They ‘explore’ our marketing manager’s muddy boots with wet-nosed intrigue then wag tails with vigour at the slightest hint of affection from our lovely customer care girls.

Muddy paw prints frequently adorn the office welcome mat. And now, whether working from home (WFH as the Muddy team are), self isolating or simply adhering to Boris’ calls to stay at home, the role of man’s best friend is ever more important.

That’s why we are keen as mustard to share an extract from a feature we recently read in In The Country magazine . Editor Holly-Ella details how dogs are the key to maintaining our wellbeing – emotionally, mentally, socially and physically – through the stresses and strains of this enforced COVID-19 lockdown.

The full piece can be read here, but in the meantime enjoy this taster of why Holly believes ‘dogs save the day’ thank to the “silent but sure-fire emotional support and physical companionship during this lockdown.”

An extract from an In the Country magazine feature: Dogs, Keeping us sane through lockdown

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.’ – Josh Billings.

In these unprecedented, never-seen before times, they are certainly proving it. I mean, let’s be honest, for the most of us, we go out to work during the day and the dogs stay at home. They get the rule of the roost whilst we’re off doing ‘human-things’ and then we return at the end of the day after a long days work, the children are home from school and the once peaceful roost is now a hub of activity and the dog now becomes the centre of attention as selfishly, we all want our cuddle.

Now though, in this upside down scenario, the dog gets no peace. He is having to share his usually peaceful and un-interrupted day with us, and now, we seek the interaction more than ever. Poor dogs you might say, but, they don’t mind. They’re selfless and likely over-joyed (in most cases) to all of a sudden be sharing their alone time with us.

Aside from the companionship they provide us with, I wonder if there is more to why we crave the company of dogs, perhaps it is partly to do with the fact that subconsciously, our minds and bodies know that the interaction is good for more than just our mental wellbeing.

It is suggested that owning a dog improves your cardiovascular health. Studies have indicated that owning a dog is linked to lower blood pressure and reduced cholesterol. Many of you who head out into the field with your canine companions each season will undoubtedly agree with this one; owning a dog keeps you fit.

A responsible dog owner will walk their dog regularly – ideally daily, and this is even more important to do during this period of lockdown to ensure your dogs can get outdoors for exercise and mental stimulation – just like you.

Your dog can act as your stress relief. This isn’t just limited to dogs, spending even just five minutes with a pet can help to lower levels of anxiety and blood pressure which can mount up when we feel stressed.

The children are driving you mad, they just won’t sleep. Cooper is waiting for you with a wagging tail and loving look in his eye. The cows got out on the farm today or how about you just can’t get the hang of Zoom now that you’re working from home for the foreseeable, your faithful dog is likely sat at your feet, poised, waiting for you to tell them all about it. It is as if the stress evaporates when you’re in their company.

Even though your pet is a predominantly a silent being, their presence in a room and in your life speaks volumes. Being around pets increases levels of two neuro-chemicals; serotonin and dopamine, which are vital for feeling calm and content.

And perhaps most significantly during these times, owning a dog can help to keep loneliness at bay and help to fight off depression.

Our dogs provide us with comfort, love and are in many cases a distraction from worry. On those days when you really don’t feel like getting out of bed and facing the world, your dog needs you.

For those farmers who are still heading out to work each day, lockdown hasn’t bought about too much change for them. They are used to working an isolated job. Many farmers will have a dog or two (or three), some to work livestock and some just for company. For those who spend many hours in tractors, a dog can go a long way in keeping them company whilst they work the fields. Having a co-pilot can make all the difference.

Whatever life looks like for you, even though dogs may not reply to you as you ramble on telling them about what happened yesterday, or who’s got on your nerves this week, they’re listening and that is the most important thing. They won’t ever judge you, only comfort and humour you when you need it.


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The Cut Magazine – Walking the Dog Is the Only Time I Feel Sane