If I am frank, the only ones that are happy during the quarantine are our dogs who get to spend the whole day with us. They may have no idea how glum the world is with this pandemic since, fortunately, they’re immune to the virus. This makes them for a good company because they’ll brighten your day with that energy and tenderness.
Dogs during quarantine
Your dog has no notion about the global pandemic and why they suddenly see more of you. This is also a good time for you to play with them and teach them new things. The only hiccup is that you need to limit your activities since a lot of public facilities like parks and playgrounds are closed. Even if they’re immune to the virus, the sudden change of pace may affect dog health indirectly. It is essential to keep the routine as best as you can and maintain proper care and nutrition to keep them happy.
Here are some tips to help you and your dog navigate during these times of uncertainty:
1. Maintain proper nutrition
You must monitor what you feed to your dogs. Since you’ll pretty much be always at home, there’s a tendency that you’ll give them too many treats. Maintain their eating habits so the rest of their bodily functions will remain undisturbed. Also, if your dog is accustomed to having extensive physical activities prior to quarantine you might want to scale back on their food intake. This is if you’re unable to give them the same level of physical exercise as before. It will prevent them from gaining too much weight due to reduced physical activity.
You may also want to stack up on their regular dog food in case you aren’t able to purchase once the quarantine is in full stride. If you are running out of food, you may want to ask some from your relatives or friends. In cases where you need to change the brand of food, make sure you introduce the new food slowly into their diet. This can be done by mixing small amounts into their usual food and increase it until you’re able to swap them entirely.
2. Prioritize home activities
This is one of the adjustments you’ll have to do with your dog during this time. If there are activities that you can do at home instead of going out into the park, then do it. You can purchase toys and other training tools that you can use at home. If you have an enclosed space outside your house like your backyard, you can do your exercises there instead of going to the park.
You can try to stimulate your dogs by using food. Try using a puzzle to make it a little challenging for them to eat or hide it in food toys. Their scent will keep them busy for hours on end.
3. Limit outdoor activities
Have a specific time to go out and exercise safety measures when you’re outside. We humans should limit our time to go outside because, unlike them, the risk of contracting the virus is much higher.
- Go out only when the dog needs to go potty.
You should only go out when the dog needs to relieve themselves with some additional walking time. If there are more adults in the house, you can take turns taking your dog outside so that it’ll have more time to exercise.
- Avoid crowded areas
If you want to walk your dog, avoid crowded places and, if possible, stay close to your house. You don’t need to take them to a playground, or anywhere with lots of people, a few laps around your neighborhood will be sufficient to keep them active and happy.
4. Visits to the vet
Avoid going to the vet unless it’s essential. So your regular check-ups will have to wait until the quarantine is over.
Also, many vets will offer limited services at this time, so your main option will be to call them and ask for advice. Stocks will also be limited to give priority for those that are vital for human health. Make sure to call your vet first on what are their available services at this time, and comply accordingly.
If you’re on self-quarantine because you or a member of your family is infected, don’t go to the clinic to avoid the risk of infecting others. Call your local vet for advice instead of visiting their clinic.
5. Practice social distancing
One way to avoid making your dog carriers of the virus is to include them in practicing social distancing.
If you’d like to pet other people’s dogs, wash your hands with disinfectant before doing so. Remember also to wash your hands afterward with soap and warm water.
6. Avoid disrupting their routines
Your dog will experience a disruption in their routine during this quarantine. Don’t aggravate it by introducing new activities or by changing their schedules. You might be bored, and you might overdo it by grooming them or feeding them. Try to maintain their routine, and if you want to play with them, do it slowly and consistently just like training them.
If your dog is getting bored with the lack of physical exercise, try to incorporate alternative games and activities to stimulate them. If your dog is used to waking up at a specific time, try to maintain that schedule. As mentioned, this goes the same with their feeding time. Also, teach them to be comfortable to be by themselves, this simulates the time of day wherein you’re at work, and they’re left at home.
Dogs are the winners during this pandemic since they have more face time with us. However, this newly found bonding time may result in more devastating anxiety when the time comes that you’ll be returning to your routine. They will feel the absence when they’re left at home, and it will manifest in their behaviors.
So it’s OK to make most of the time you get to spend with them, just make sure you don’t overdo it because they’re the ones who’ll suffer more when you go out to work and leave them at home.