Quarantine with dogs
We’ve all been at home for more than a month now and those with pets at home for this lockdown are really lucky ones. You must have heard the news of dog shelters and kennels being completely cleared out in different parts of the world. Most of the pet shelters have also stated that there has been a surge of adoptions and this can signify only one thing – humans have turned to pets for comfort during the long and infinite quarantine days.
Pets bring cheer and joy to our gloomiest days and in pandemic times like these, they are bound to have a positive effect on the entire household. They not only keep us away from boredom but they help our mental being as well.
Of course, having pets at home will require you to use innovative ways to keep them engaged and active. The best part is that spending time with them will help you combat boredom as well.
Caption:Protect your dog with dog mask during walks
- Protect your dogs!
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new accessory to our regular attire – masks. Throughout the world, protective masks and face coverings are in demand and are fast-moving as they are our current best option to prevent being affected by the virus. In this situation, we need to remember our four-legged friends as well and take care of them. As recent findings state that even dogs and some other animals are prone to the virus, dog owners need to take the responsibility of using suitable masks for dogs.
Not just the virus, dogs are also vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and can develop allergies or serious lung problems too. If you live in metros and cities, then the levels of pollution are high and it is best to keep your dog engaged at home. Thus equipping your dog with masks every time they step out will be beneficial to them in the long run.
Caption: Interactive soft toys for dogs
- Interactive Toys
If you think rubber bones and balls are the only possible toys for dogs, then you are wrong. The toy market for dogs is much bigger than just balls. As all of us are forced to stay within the safety of our homes, our doggy friends as well are bound to get bored as they miss the outside. So it is time you get suitable interactive toys for your dogs to keep them engaged.
Dog puzzle cubes, IQ treat balls, and tug toys are some popular interactive toys. There are interactive dog feeders as well which make sure dogs don’t eat too fast and choke on their food. These feeding bowls will make sure your dog takes time to get his food. These toys will keep the dog engaged not just during lockdown but when you start going for work and leave him alone during the day.
Caption:Chocolate labrador is enjoying his time in the swimming pool.
All of us have been in lockdown for more than a month and I am sure you would have felt fed up with just sitting or sleeping all the time. You must be longing to stretch yourself and relax those muscles. Your dog too will be waiting to run around and exercise but as you are stuck at home, you need to make the best of the space you have.
If you live in a safe locality then you can make use of the lockdown relaxations and take your dog out for at least half an hour, even if it is up and down your street. In case you live in red zones and are not allowed to walk your dog, you can make use of your yard or balconies. You can set up obstacles like cardboard boxes and make them jump over it. You can play games like tug of war or fetch that will keep them active and ensure they get a good amount of physical activity.
Caption:Dog sitting on a couch covered in toilet paper roll.
- Indoor games for dogs
Most pet owners think it is not possible to play with a dog indoors. This is not just because of the space constraints, but they worry about their dogs knocking over or breaking things. Don’t worry, there are lots of fun games for dogs that can be played safely indoors.
Good old hide and seek is a lot of fun with your dogs. Of course, they have the advantage of smelling you out but watching them go around the house searching for you is a delight in itself!
You can also modify outdoor fetch to suit indoors by rolling the ball around and making your dog go for it.
You can also buy a tug of war toys that are designed for dogs and let your dog play with that while you are busy with other activities. Frozen treats or buckets are also a great way to keep them occupied for a good amount of time. You can fill a bucket with alternating layers of treats and toys; your dog will be encouraged to work his way in once he realizes that he is being rewarded with treats. However, make sure your dog does not make the smart move of just pushing the basket over and going straight for the treats!
Caption:Train your dog some basic commands at home
- Training at home
This extended time you have is a great opportunity to train your dog. If you got a puppy recently, then you are blessed to have time to properly train him. A disciplined dog makes everyone’s lives easier and you can coexist in harmony. If your dog is naughty then being stuck indoors with him must be a nightmare. Through successful training, your dog and you would have had a productive quarantine with lots of quality time as well.
Training a dog requires a lot of time, patience, and effort – all of which you now have in abundance. Moreover, training is successful only if it is carried out consistently over a period of time. You can teach your dog to understand and follow basic commands like yes, no, sit, stand, fetch, and eat. Take the help of online trainers, YouTube videos, or even good dog handbooks.
Caption:Dog doing handshake
- Teach tricks
You have an endless amount of time in your hands and you can spend it teaching a few interesting tricks to your dog. Not only will you be doing something interesting, but your dog will also be elated that you are spending a great deal of time together.
You can teach your dog to put her toys back into her basket and this will save you from picking up their scattered toys. You could also teach to play basketball by encouraging them to score more by giving treats for every score. Teach them to shake hands or hi-fi, it’s easy and you can show off in front of others!
Another cute trick is teaching them to roll themselves in a blanket; it is truly an adorable sight to watch! Of course, you could teach them to dance to funky tunes and join in the fun with them. You could also make them fetch certain things like the newspaper or mail from the door without drooling all over it.
You must have come across news of dogs going out to buy things for their owners and if you are successful in training, then your dog could be one of them!
Caption: Cook Diy homemade dog food for your furry friends.
- Cook for your dog
Instagram is filled with stories and posts of people trying their hand at baking. At the beginning of this pandemic, stores were out of toilet paper and sanitizer, now they are running out of baking supplies!
Like how you spend time experimenting with new recipes, you can also cook a treat for your dog once in a while. Not only will you be improving your chef skills, but you will also improve your dog’s health by making sure he has a fresh and nutritious meal once in a while.
Spending your lockdown with pets is a blessing as they can bring life and happiness within four walls. Their presence acts as a soothing balm for us and will help to navigate these tough pandemic times better.
Experts around the world have suggested that pets are likely to exhibit separation anxiety once the lockdown is over and people start resuming their regular routine life. Pets are bound to be confused at this sudden change and might have mental or emotional upsets.
So it is advisable for you to make your pet confident about himself and be independent. Don’t let them rely on you too much else it will be too hard for them later on.
Make sure you maintain the same regular routine for your pets and allow extra time for you to spend together. As mentioned above, you can use this time productively by training them, teaching them easy tricks, and ensuring they get the required physical life.