Unless you’ve been completely shut off from the world, you’ve heard about the pandemic caused by the recent strain of Coronavirus. With many working from home, people are left wondering how to keep their dogs occupied or even if petting their dog is safe.
COVID-19 and Canines
Early reports claimed that a pet Pomeranian had contracted COVID-19 from its sick owner. Further testing has shown that to be inaccurate.
While a disease with a similar name, Canine Respiratory Coronavirus, does exist, it is not the same disease as COVID-19. Furthermore, there is no evidence that canines can carry the SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. For more on COVID-19 and pets read from the AVMA here: COVID-19 Faqs.
However, the CDC does advise sanitizing your hands before and after playing with or petting your pets.
Getting Through Together
Humans rely on their dogs for a lot of things. Dogs have seen many jobs from hunting all the way to emotional support. So it would seem that your dog is perfectly built to help keep you sane and active during this outbreak.
As much worry as you may have, our dogs are loving having their favorite humans home more. It’s important to figure out a routine that’ll help you and your pup expel some energy and also pass the time.
Think of some games you can play with your dog to help stimulate their mind and entertain yourself. You can do things like:
- Play hide and seek by hiding and letting your dog search for you. Give them hints by whistling or calling their name if they need a little help or encouragement. Your kids can even play along
- Hide treats in places around the house and time how long it takes for them to be found
- Create an obstacle course in your yard and try to get them to run through it
- Teach them some new tricks! It’s never too late for them to learn something new. Try teaching them how to dance.
- Have your kids play tug-o-war against them
You can also try out some homemade dog treats to give to your pup for learning some new tricks.
Keeping the Routine
Many dog day camps or parks are closing to create social distancing, which may lead to having a dog around the house that can’t participate in its regular routine.
Keeping some kind of routine will help you, your pup, and your family maintain some sense of normalcy.
You can still maintain a routine, although it’ll be slightly altered. Depending on your area, taking daily walks might be something you need to replace. So instead, try to play in the yard for 30 minutes in the morning. When you come back inside, let them rest while you cuddle up and watch the latest Netflix series. Then around lunchtime, give them a brain teaser. Hide some treats around the house and let them try to find it. In the evening, you can take them outside for another round of fetch or just for some outside time in the yard.
Remember that your dog can help you stay active just as much as you help them. Trying new things during this quarantine could help you and your dog grow!