There are many things to think about, as a dog parent, during this extreme situation. Especially, Food, Safety, Emergency plans and daily Physical Activity.
The coronavirus pandemic is very overwhelming for everyone, and dogs are no exception. Therefore, it is our duty to cater for all their needs and leave nothing to chance. Here are five things you need to think about in this delicate context:
This post may contain some affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase using one of my links, I will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Check out my disclaimer for more details
In this article
Adapt your supplies
You certainly noticed the panic rush in Supermarkets and shops during the first days of the pandemic outbreak, people gathering huge stocks of products, long queues of customers and even fighting over paper toilet and food.
But fortunately, store supply returned to normal. And therefore, no shortage of dog food happened. But, in order to minimize your number of trips to the supermarket, try to meticulously plan, ahead of time, your errands and make sure to, accurately, assess the needs of your pet in terms of kibbles and accessories and stick strictly to your list.
The Goal is to spend as little time as possible in stores.
If you are used to feed your dog natural meals, you can skip the trip to the supermarket and have your dog’s food prepared and brought directly to your door on a regular basis by trying a fresh dog food delivery service, such as SPOT & TANGO
This company provides high quality meals designed by veterinary nutritionists using just 12 natural ingredients.
And you get to choose between 3 options:
- Turkey & Red Quinoa
- Beef & Millet
- Lamb & Brown Rice
What i like the most about SPOT & TANGO is that their meals are free from preservatives, growth hormones, or any artificial additives. And they meet the nutritional standards of the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All ages.
Also, don’t hesitate to help your sick or elderly neighbors who have pets. Whenever possible and taking all necessary precautions (respect for social distance and hand hygiene), shop for them so that their companions do not lack of anything.
Be more vigilant with disinfectant products
More than ever before, it is of vital importance to regularly disinfect your living place and that of your pet. However, you must be very careful about the products used for sanitation:
Whenever, you want to clean your house use a proper dilution of the cleaning products and don’t let your dog play around until the surfaces are totally dry.
Always remember to hide those disinfectants carefully to avoid contact with your dog (keep them, preferably, in a locked closet). Also keep in mind that no disinfectant can be applied directly to your pet. Instead, consult with your veterinarian about available dog bathing products.
Bleach and hydroalcoholic solutions are extremely harmful to him and many incidents have been reported by veterinarians, including burns and comas.
If you want to wash your dog’s paws use only soapy water, and don’t forget to rinse them thoroughly and dry afterwards.
The toilet issue
One of the main problems dog owners are facing during this pandemic, especially those living in apartments, is the inability to go outside to let their dogs relieve themselves. This annoying situation can be solved by teaching your dog to do his business in a specific area of your house where you can put some artificial grass or ground or just some old newspapers. You can also find in the market many brands of dog peeing/pooing alternatives such as The Pet Loo from PetSafe that comes with:
- A Synthetic grass mat can be easily cleaned with water; simply remove from the base and rinse.
- A covered waste bin and Wee Sponge powder to trap smells and help keep the potty odor-free.
- A sliding Pee-Pod at the base and a Wee Sponge powder that turns the urine into a gel on contact to help dispose of it easily.
This product is perfect for small spaces such as RV’s, campers, apartments and patios. And can withstand even Big dog breeds like: Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Australian Shepherds, etc.
You may need some time to get your dog used to do his business in that specific area of your house, and one way to achieve that would be to simulate going outside for a normal walk, which means you need to do everything you used to do when you wanted to walk your dog for example wear your jeans and snickers and maybe your jacket then put the leash on and instead of going outside go to that specific place in your house. You can also take his excrements and put them in the place you prepared for that, so that he can sniff them and potty there. This may take some practice, but dogs are very intelligent and can learn quickly.
Also, this will result in bad odors and lots of dirt for you to clean daily. That’s why, you need to respect some good hygiene practices including washing your hands after cleaning and avoiding direct contact with excrements and urine as they may transmit some diseases.
Think of a contingency plan
Many dog owners wonder what would happen to their companions if they ever got ill with COVID-19. Well, It is necessary, in fact, to be foresighted and look for the different facilities that provide dog care such as animal shelters and dog associations, these structures are, for the most of them, already saturated and thus, it would be wise to consider family or neighbors.
But if this solution is not available, don’t abandon your pet! as it is unlikely, that your dog could get infected by SARS-CoV-2. Instead, limit your interaction with him and stop the licking, kissing and any other close contact activity you used to have with your dog.
And of course, wash your hands before and after feeding them or cleaning their space.
Check out my article about COVID-19 in relation with dogs.
Occupy your dog
Containment also disrupts your pet’s daily life and habits, especially in regard of physical activity. Even if you can still walk him for an hour every day, it’s not necessarily enough, especially for dogs that were used to walks of several hours and over vast stretches.
So, how would you manage to tire up your dog if you can’t provide him with enough physical exercise? Well it’s so simple, try a combination of mental and physical exercise.
Mental exercise could be far more calory consuming than physical exercise. Your dog will nap for longer periods of time afterwards.
It is not all about tiredness, playing interactive games every day is a perfect opportunity for you to get along well with your dog and can keep you both mentally stimulated. I listed here a few ideas for you to try:
- Train your dog to find things by sniffing them
- Make him work for food by helping in daily tasks
- Use puzzles and toys to keep him busy
- Play hide and seek (dogs love it!)
- Buy him some food dispensing toys
Another great way to keep your pup well entertained during this pandemic, without having to leave the comfort of your couch, would be by subscribing to a Dog subscription box service, such as PupBox.
Even though this subscription box service is geared towards puppies, there is an option for adult dog too.
Each month you will receive a new box containing 5-7 items in addition to a training guide according to your dog’s age. One of those products will always be a bag of training treats made in the USA.
What is really cool about PupBox is that your puppy will always get specific age-customized products. When he is teething, he’ll get chewing toys or you might get some products to help you with the house training and so forth.
Use this link to get:
on any of the PupBox subscription plans (3-,6- or 12-months).
Keep in mind that the amount of physical exercise needed will vary from one dog to another depending on his breed, age and sex. Mental exercise helps burn more calories but, you may also need to consider adjusting your dog’s diet in order to avoid over weight and other health issues.
- Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash
- Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash
- Milliken Chemical by PressReleaseFinder licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
- Shorebreak’s Patio Pet-a-Potty by Taro the Shiba Inu licensed under CC BY 2.0
- Daily Dog 2013 008: 1000 Pieces? by Christine Schmitt licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0