As the global community grapples and tries to come to terms with the novel coronavirus pandemic, observing particular precautions have become the new norm. From socially distancing ourselves to washing our hands frequently, we have modified our ways and life to contain further spread of this deadly virus.
For pet owners, a common concern is how to care for their dogs amid compulsory quarantine and self-isolation rules. How do you get your canine friend to exercise? How do you entertain your dog at home?
In the article below, we have compiled common queries and their solutions (taken from experts) that should tell you how to care for your dog during the COVID-19 outbreak:
Pets, particularly canines, need regular exercise. Take your four-legged friend outside for a walk, but practise social distancing. Avoid crowded places and gatherings altogether. If possible, maintain a safe distance of two-three meters from people.
Importantly, don’t let your dog sniff or eat anything that is lying on the ground. Besides the current outbreak, this rule applies to other times and situations as well. It will help to prevent your dog from contracting any bacteria, virus, or other toxic substances. Don’t touch any foreign surface unnecessarily and wash your dog’s paws once home.
However, now that social distancing and compulsory quarantine have become essential to avert further transmission of the virus, you should organise indoor exercise sessions for your furry friend.
This brings us to:
In all probability, your dog is happy to see you work from home. The mere presence is enough to bring them joy. Once it sees you invested in your work, it is likely not to bother you. If your dog is hyperactive, indulge in a short interaction or play session before resuming work again.
Instead of walking your dog outdoors, you can keep it entertained and occupied at home as well. Buy your furry friend toys containing dog treats inside. Often, human interaction can substitute for long walks outside. That being said, you should keep a tab on your canine’s kilos every week to monitor any drastic weight loss or gain.
You’d do well to cut down on its food intake by a small margin during this period of socially distancing yourself from others.
It depends on the breed and size of your dog. Physical activity needs for smaller dogs are usually less as compared to their bigger peers. It is the quality of interaction or play that matters more than the quantity. Quality interactions, including obedience and command games, playing, sniffing and searching, can be helpful.
No, you aren’t required to do anything differently. Only make sure you are:
Cook your dog’s food thoroughly, particularly if you have them following a raw or canned diet. That is because cooking, at high temperatures, kills the virus, bacteria, and other toxins. Importantly, serve the food right after cooking and make sure your dog finishes it. Remember that when left uncovered in the open, foods’ bacteria count increases over time.
Wash their water and food bowls with a detergent.
If your dog is unwell, take it to a vet. Stay up-to-date with all the vaccinations, in keeping with the vet’s recommendations. Further, don’t forget to keep a check on your dog’s weight; you should try to keep him in optimal shape – neither thin, nor fat.