The outbreak of COVID-19 has brought most of the world to a halt. Organisations have switched to a ‘work from home’ model to prevent further spread of the virus. While employees are making necessary adjustments, pet-owners are realising that they now have furry co-workers to keep them company. However, amidst the trepidation, the niggling thought that is causing distress among the community is, “Can dogs catch coronavirus?”. World Health Organization experts have said, “At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus."
So now that you have let out a sigh of relief, here a few ways you can keep your dog safe, exercised and entertained during the 21-day lockdown...
Make sure to prepare
From dog food, dog supplements, hygiene and canine supplies to preventive medication for ticks, fleas and tummy upsets, make sure to have all of these at hand. It is also advisable to get your dog checked and up-to-date with all necessary vaccinations.
Devise mental challenges
If you have spare boxes or containers lying around the house, hide treats or dry dog food under them and arrange them across the floor. Let your pet sniff to uncover the treats by himself. Similarly, you can get creative and trap treats in your pet’s toys or even place balls over the treats in a cupcake baking dish to keep your dog engaged.
Use this time to train
If your dog is used to a lot of physical activity, it is advisable to keep them on their paws/by using this time to train them. From rolling over and spinning to standing tall on their hind legs, there are a host of tricks you could get your dog to pick up.
Play interactive games
An interactive game is another way to keep your dog entertained. Examples of such games are the ‘which hand’ game or the ‘three cups’ game wherein you hide treats or homemade dog snacks in one hand or one cup, move it around and get your pooch to guess which hand or cup their treat is hiding under.
Take fewer, shorter walks
While you might limit regular walks, a few short walks in an enclosed backyard or building compound can be incorporated into the routine. However, make sure you wipe down your dog’s paws thoroughly right after.
Lastly, don’t forget to cuddle! During these stressful times, there is nothing as soothing as curling up with your fur buddy. Cuddling with your dog is known to have psychological benefits for both you and them.