There is a lot of news coming out about pet owners struggling to stay home with their pets. Most pet owners are finding it hard to find new activities to keep their pets indulged throughout the day.
One thing pet owners can worry less about the pandemic is that there are no cases of COVID in pets. Scientists confirmed that pets such as dogs and cats are less likely to contract COVID-19. However, they are prone to different types of coronaviruses, but that has nothing to do with the current outbreak of COVID-19.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no animals in the US have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can spread COVID-19.
How to keep your pets occupied during the Lockdown?
Here is a guide for the pet owners to help make things a little easier for their pets. We have broken down the guide according to the animal you own.
Here is how you can keep your dog occupied.
Search Games: No games are ever outdated for dogs. At this time of lockdown, you can create a game such as hiding treats or toys around the house for your dog to find. This will help to keep them on their feet and stimulate their brain.
Shell game: This is a popular mental stimulus. Place three plastic cups upside-down on the floor and hide a treat or toy under a cup. Move the cups around each other. Let your dog find the treat or toy by point out any of the cups.
Chewing: Chewing is the natural behavior of dogs. Give them chews such as Kongs to keep them busy for hours, as well as helping to maintain good dog dental hygiene.
Teach basic commands: This can be the best time to train your dog. You can begin with basic commands such as "sit", "stay", "come," “leave,” etc. If you need help delegating the commons, you can always refer to certified pet training channels on YouTube.
Teach names: Give toys names and ask your dog to fetch "teddy", "ball", or "dolly" and put them in a box.
Unlike dogs, cats have different ways to keep themselves occupied. However, if you wish to spend some quality and productive time with your cat, you can follow these guides.
Agility: Agility exercise can be very useful for cats. You can find many great videos on YouTube about Do-it-yourself agility exercises. You can find many timed obstacle courses online.
Fishing games: Turn some string into a kind of fishing rod. Fix a shuttlecock at the end of it and then swing it through the room. Your cat will love chasing it!
Clicker training: Training basic command to cats is very different from training basic commands to dogs. You can teach your cat a lot with clicker training like few tricks such as "come" and "high five."
Ball games: Cats love to chase or catch anything that moves. Throwing a bouncy ball against the wall will keep your cat busy for hours trying to catch it.
Torch game: Use a torch or laser-light to make a spot dart around the room and let your cat indulge her passion for ‘hunting’ it.
Small animals may include hamsters, mice, and rabbits. Here is how you can keep them occupied.
Obstacle courses: Build a small and safe obstacle course using a few small boxes made out of cardboard or paper of different heights with treats on top of them, so that your pet is kept busy finding the treats.
Hide-and-seek: This game works well if the incentive is to find food treats. Just spread a few healthy snacks around the room for your pet to find.
Hunt game: Tie a piece of apple or any other fruit and food that your pet fancies to a tight ribbon and pull it across the room to get your pet to ‘hunt’ the fruit.
Frequently Asked Questions
During the time of the pandemic, pet owners are worried about their pet’s health. Here are some of the answers to frequently asked questions by the pet owners.
How can I keep my dog in a routine while I’m working from home?
With both pets and pet owners inside the house, it’s hard to find time to keep up with the usual schedule such as work, eat, or exercise. Pet’s need optimum physical and mental stimulation to keep them healthy.
Although you’re home trying to maintain the regular schedule. Ensuring your dog has as normal a routine as possible is really important. When they get used to the unusual schedule during the lockdown, it can be hard for them to cope with a regular schedule post-lockdown.
It will also help to get your dog into a routine if you try to start and finish work at the same time each day and take your break/lunch at the same sort of time. When you’re home, try to spend more with your pet indulging in the activities you missed. You can indulge in different types of games or training sessions.
Can I walk my dog outside?
US Government has outlined that healthy people who don’t have symptoms can go outside and exercise within 2km of their homes, once they practice social distancing.
If you have a backyard or empty spaces around your house, you can always take your pet outside. This can be true for the suburbs; however, if you live in a dense city, you must practice precautions before going out.
Keep your dog on-lead when out walking and don’t be afraid to ask people not to pet your dog to ensure you stay at least two meters apart from other people at all times.
You should avoid parks or open spaces where your dog might wander off. Keep your dog on the lead. Don’t forget to pick up after your dog and wash your hands thoroughly when you are back inside.
Can I walk my dog off the lead?
It can be a bad idea to walk your dog off lead mainly because they can wander off. When the strict rules are placed on movement, it is important that you adhere to traveling long distances.
If you use a long lead, we’d suggest slowly introducing a short lead – this can be done by slowly limiting their distance from you, using positive rewards to let them know they are doing a good job!
Your daily walk is a good time to spend quality time with your dog. Wherever possible, try to give them your undivided attention.
Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines, to find more useful tips and ideas on keeping your pets happy. To ensure you and your pet's safety during this pandemic, we can provide useful tips and resources online.