In early March 2020, the World Health Organization declared that the COVID-19 novel coronavirus is a global pandemic. In the panic over the spread of the virus, people are worried not only about their own health but the health of their dogs, cats, and other pets.
As most of the governments has imposed lockdowns and asked people to stay at home and maintain social distancing then, you may wonder how to take care of your pets. Can you take them outside? How can they get their exercise? Will this effect their mental health?
Can you take them outside?
Physical and mental exercise are extremely important for dogs and dog owners alike. Before taking a walk, check your local regulations. As long as the area where you reside remains safe enough to venture outside, dog owners feeling healthy and well should plan to continue walking their dogs daily, albeit with added safety measures. Observe any local ordinances concerning curfews, even if that means adjusting your dog walking schedule.
Owners should wash their hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds before and after each walk. Consider carrying around a pocket-sized bottle of hand sanitiser during your walks. Practice social distancing measures by walking your dog in uncrowded areas when possible. If you live in a big city, make efforts to take your dog down less-heavily-trafficked blocks, or try adjusting walks to less busy times of day and night.
How can they get their exercise being at home?
Play fetch, you’ll be limited when throwing a toy indoors. You can get around that by throwing the toy up or down the stairs or in an empty hallway.
Or If you have to walk on grass, select an area that is exposed to direct sunlight and rain, as it is probably cleaner than one that is sheltered or muddy. It’s also an excellent opportunity to practice the “sit” and “stay” commands. You can also try chasing your pet or, more likely, having them chase you.
Will this effect their mental health?
Physical and mental exercise are extremely important for dogs and dog owners alike. Play Puzzles, Practice old tricks or teach new ones. Pets love challenges, especially ones that give them some reward. Try hiding treats inside a puzzle game, or stuff peanut butter inside one of your pet’s toys. Play hide-and-seek by covering yourself in a blanket. You can flip the switch and make them find their way out from underneath the blanket or an old shirt too.
Another way to challenge your pet and reward them is to work on tricks. Practice the basics and try adding some new moves to the mix. Looking for something more advanced? Have your pet perform their tricks in a specific sequence or randomize the order entirely.
Last but not the least, even after you find them not in good health due to any reason, bring your pet to see a vet, and be up-to-date with their vaccination according to the vet’s recommendations.
Keep them in a good body condition, that is, not too thin or too fat.
So all in all, we have to take some extra precautions for our self as well as for our pets, during this Covid-19 outbreak. But it will be fun, as you get to spend more time with them being at home. So stay safe, stay healthy and keep maintaining social distance.
With inputs from Fox News (www.foxnews.com)