Check your smartphone, turn on the radio, turn on television and you are bombarded with warnings to “socially distance” yourself from others to slow the spread of Covid-19, a serious novel coronavirus. A more precise instruction would be to practice physical distancing. Physical distancing and hygiene are imperative to getting our lives back to a normal pace.
We know social connections are critical to our personal well-being, and the same holds true for our dogs. They, like us, are a social and cooperative species and, also like us, require social interactions. According to Matthew D. Lieberman in his book, Social, the mammalian brain “[has] evolved to experience threats to social connections the same way they experience physical pain.”