Currently, we are starting to appreciate the little things that we used to take for granted; the walk to the mall or even that job we thought was paying peanuts. We now wish that that the coronavirus infections would stop, and the government would lift the lockdown. Unfortunately, the restrictions are here to stay until there is probably no one infected with the coronavirus. This is in light of the warnings regarding the risk of a second wave of infections if countries ease the restrictions too early. However, besides humans, dogs also are being affected by the coronavirus restrictions, so let’s get to see what can be done to help our pets cope with the change too.
What are the coronavirus restrictions?
Many countries have put their citizens under a lockdown, meaning that no one is allowed to leave their home unless they have a reasonable excuse. Such excuses have been listed as going to buy basic necessities such as food and medical supplies or to seek medical assistance. You can also only leave your home to go to work if you are an essential employee, and none of your duties can be done from home. Other reasons include fulfilling legal obligations and attending the funeral of a close family member, among many more.
As a result of the social distancing and work from home orders, many venues and businesses have been closed, and travel bans have also been instituted. Such restrictions have led to the closure of public places such as parks and shops that do not provide essential services. Additionally, restaurants and cafes have been shut down unless they have a takeaway service. Venues for indoor and outdoor leisure activities are also closed, among others, outlined by BBC.
Effect of the coronavirus restrictions on dogs
There was a panic when a dog died from coronavirus, and another tested positive. Although some experts believe that dogs can contract canine respiratory coronavirus, the COVID-19 is thought not to be of any health risk to the animals. However, when two dogs in Hong Kong tested positive then, experts reasoned that it was more likely that a human transmitted the virus to the dog. They opined that if a person touched the animals in the exact spot that the other human had touched, then chances of contracting the virus were high.
That said, even dogs might get to save other humans by following the laid down restrictions; that means that they will no longer be accessing public places as one dog owner in New Castle County found out. The county has shut down all social amenities, including bark parks where dog owners take their pets for exercises. The dog owners were disappointed since that is the only place that the canines get to release their energy but still reasoned that the more humans kept their social distance, the quicker the dogs would go back to their routine exercises.
It is not just in New Castle County that such activities have been restricted for the dogs; in Cleveland, the police clarified that taking dogs for walks or drives was not essential travel. The police force, therefore, encouraged people to take walks closer to home, and in the last weekend of March 2020, it had issued 16 penalty cases for those who made unnecessary travel. However, since you are allowed to exercise once a day, you can take your dog with you, and if he requires more exercise, then another person can take him during their turn. Unfortunately, dog owners have been advised to avoid interacting with other dog owners during their walks, meaning your dog will not get to have a play date anytime soon.
How do you care for your dog despite the coronavirus restrictions?
Having a fenced compound will ensure your dog has enough space to get his exercises while still enjoying ample time with his favorite people. It also guarantees that the children get some exercise without the risk of contracting the virus from outsiders. If you do not have the option of keeping your furry friend at home, then the daily exercise will still work if you have other adults in the house who can take him for more walks. Additionally, if your dog is used to spending most of his time outdoors, then you should keep a stimulating environment inside. You can consequently buy more stuffed and squeaky toys to grab his attention. Moreover, if the dog has more energy after exercising, you can wear them out mentally through training commands.
Moreover, you should have enough food and medicine to last you through two weeks at least. Waiting until the last minute when you are running out of the necessities can leave you without food since there are so many online orders, and delivery can take a while. While you may be tempted to wake up at 11 am to feed the dog, yet he was used to breakfast at 7 am, it is crucial to stick to their routine feeding time.
As Insider reports, changing the routine to fit your new comfort zone will work against you. When you have to get back to work, you will have to train the dog to get used to their previous schedule, which is not easy. Also, with the extra time in your hands, you will feel like learning to cook more treats. However, ensure that you keep a check on the treats to avoid obesity and try to balance with healthier treats, especially now that exercise is limited.
Finally, just as you keep some social distance from humans, your dog should not get as many kisses and hugs as before. Although there is still no strong evidence that pets can transmit the virus, it is better to be safe than sorry. For this reason, besides washing your hands with soap and water every time you touch their toys or beddings or feed them, you should also prevent them from licking your face or hands or sharing food with them.