How To Keep Your Dog Happy And Healthy During Coronavirus Lockdown
Our latest Guest Blog is by Alexandra Seagal who is the Editor of Animalso. Here she offers advice as to how to keep your dog happy and healthy during the Coronavirus Lockdown
Being forced to remain in quarantine isn’t easy for anyone, and that includes your dog. Fido could be experiencing the same uncertainty, boredom, and frustration that you are as you wait out the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We don’t even notice that dogs give us so much during these trying times! Studies show they can also help reduce your stress and anxiety. So how do you keep your dog happy and healthy while in quarantine? Keep reading for some tips.
Staying active is important
No matter what size or how active your dog is, she needs physical exercise even if it’s as simple as tossing the ball down the hallway of your apartment.
Bigger canines, or dogs that are used to being on the move, need even more activities to stay healthy. If it’s possible in your location or you have a fenced backyard, go outside and play tag or fetch.
If you can safely take them out for a jog or walk while maintaining social distance, do this for at least 30 minutes a day.
Mental exercise matters
Perhaps just as important as physical activity is keeping your fur baby’s brain sharp. Your dog needs to be entertained and challenged to stay mentally healthy.
Pets who are used to being socialized can have depression and anxiety just like humans do, so this is particularly important during isolating situations like this.
Interactive feeders, like the Kong puzzle, are one way to challenge your doggo’s mind. You can also create your own game using a muffin tin and some tennis balls. Place treats in a few of the cups and then place the balls over all of the cups and challenge your dog to find all the treats.
Maybe try something as simple as teaching your dog some new tricks. Not only does this help them stay mentally fit during the quarantine, but you may also have an even better-trained dog when life returns to normal!
You can also turn on channels specifically for canines, like DogTV, so that your furry pal can be entertained while you work remotely.
Give your dog a retreat
It’s easy to forget that although your dog may be enjoying the fact that you and the family are around more, it can also be a bit too much for a pup who’s used to some alone time.
With everyone stuck at home, your pooch might find themselves overwhelmed with all the new activity. Give your buddy a place where they can escape to if they need a break from it all - sort of like personal space.
This can be a crate set aside just for him, or a pillow in one corner of the bedroom where your pooch can relax. If you live somewhere cold, it’s best to get your doggo a heated bed to help them stay comfortable. They’re excellent for older canines, too.
Teach your little ones to be aware of the signs that your pup needs a break, too. Some of those signs can be panting, repeated yawning, a flattened tail, or a lowered body. If your dog shows any signs that he needs a break, step away, and let him decide when to re-engage.
Keep your home tidy
With everyone staying indoors, no doubt you’ve had an increase in the amount of trash piling up. Be sure to keep your home clean because otherwise, you risk the chance that your dog might eat something they shouldn’t.
Pick up food wrappers, keep an eye on kids if they eat snacks around the house, and clean up home craft projects. Don’t forget table scraps left on the counter that some pets can reach.
Dogs are curious creatures. Avoid catching their interest that will lead to taking a bite out of a paper mache project and have to go to an emergency run to the vet.
Don’t be tempted to increase food and treats
Many humans complain that the Coronavirus quarantine is making their waistline suffer. Do not let your pooch go through the same problem.
When humans are home with their dogs more often, there’s evidence that they tend to gain weight because we offer up more treats, food, or scraps. Be careful not to change up your dog’s routine.
Stick to a regular mealtime routine, limit treats to the manufacturer’s directions, and don’t sneak Fido a bite of your dinner or even one french fry - no matter how tempting it might be.
Protect your dog from diseases
There’s no evidence that dogs can get sick with the Coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a little extra protection for your sake.
Pets could carry the virus on their leash or collar, so don’t let strangers pet your pooch. Maintain social distancing of 6 feet, not only from other humans but from other dogs, as well.
Don’t put a mask on your pet. It’s unnecessary and could even be harmful.
If you do get sick, some experts recommend that you stay away from your dog just as you would from other people until you are feeling better. Have a friend or family member feed and care for your pet while you’re sick. It’s best to be safe than sorry.
It helps to have a plan in place for such an event. If you find yourself so ill that you can’t properly take care of your canine buddy, you want to know that there is someone out there who will make sure they are safe.
Alexandra Seagal is the editor of Animalso Website - https://animalso.com