The vast majority of pet owners are aware of the basic necessary care with pets on a daily basis: maintaining unlimited access to water so that they can always be hydrated, ensuring that food provides the nutrients they need, regular visits to the veterinarian, and maintaining a daily routine of caring and exercise.
Specialized professionals show that pets provide benefits – physical and emotional – tangible to the health of human beings, and can even facilitate adaptation to difficult periods. Animals can act as “stress buffers”, alleviating the suffering associated with anxiety-provoking experiences and helping to decrease the perception of physical and emotional pain.
Taking advantage of this moment when many owners are at home, why not take the time to do activities together? Taking time to play and exercise with pets is a way to build a healthy and happy relationship with them, reinforcing the link between tutor and animal. This article gives you a few tips on how to do just that.
It is important to keep daily routines as much as possible, so that when everything returns to normal there are no changes in the behavior of our animals, especially if they are older animals, which can be disoriented more easily with changing habits. In these cases, maintaining the routine becomes even more important.
In the case of dogs, it is imperative to ensure that they maintain the independence they had before. Therefore, it is necessary that they have moments in their day-to-day life when they are alone. This does not mean setting them aside, it means that “they have an area of the house where they have toys, for instance.
The goal is for them to entertain themselves in this space in a positive way, but alone, just as they did when owners were away from home working”, says John H. Harrell, pet blogger at Paper Fellows and Assignment Writing Service. We must encourage all types of play and here, children can be of help. All types of games and interactions are well accepted, especially those of exploration and those involving scent.
An example of a very simple game is to put a few pieces of apple inside a cardboard egg box so that the dog has to chew the box to get the prize: the apple. In the case of cats, there is nothing better than a cardboard box to entertain them.
With cats, it is of special importance that we don’t forget to respect their nature. This means, especially when there are children at home, that cats that are used to being alone at home, can maintain this habit. Ensure that each cat has a place that can be isolated, if you wish, during the day.
Unfortunately, the rules of the State of Emergency apply not only to people but also to their four-legged friends. In this sense, the walks must be short, which does not mean they have to be boring. Dogs must always walk on a leash and never let go, and the leashes must be at least 2 meters long so that the dog can have some freedom of movement.
To make these walks more fun we should let them use their sense of smell, one of the senses that dogs like to use the most, thus making these walks interactive. Let them sniff! We must prevent them from getting close to other dogs and people because, despite the fact that they are not contagious, they can be carriers of the virus, and we must realize that the fur is the dog’s clothes and the paws’ shoes.
Once again, social isolation applies not only to people but also to our animals. Contrary to what is always recommended, unfortunately, at this stage, social distance is for everyone! In order for our four-legged to be able to make their walks without approaching people or dogs, the owner should always try to ensure that the dog only pays attention to the owner and reward him with a prize, for example, a yummy doggy treat.
This point in time is the right one to exercise creativity. Veterinarians recommend the use of toys aimed at pets, but it is also possible to develop different activities. For instance, you can adopt a pet bottle, make holes, and put feed inside. The animal will take a little longer to feed and will be having fun.
In the specific case of dogs, other activities you can come up with are commands to teach him how to sit, give a paw, and reward him with snacks. According to his level of knowledge, if he is a puppy you will be taking baby steps for him to try to respond to these stimuli.
In this quarantine period, veterinarians also put emphasis on the importance of observing the animal’s behavior, which can prevent the appearance of diseases. “Be proactive and observe your pet’s routine, get to know his habits better, and try to notice any changes that seem out of character when you spend your routine outside the home”, says Patricia M. Steadman, writer at Boomessays and State Of Writing.
In addition, many pets have the habit of doing their business outside the home when walking the street. With the pandemic of the new coronavirus, it is important to be observant of where the activity will be carried out, so as not to risk contamination.
Handling Stressed Pets
We know that pets can be upset when trapped indoors for a long time. In situations like this, it is important to keep an eye out if they start to exhibit destructive or anxious behavior. If this happens, increasing playtime can help. If there is a medical problem, call a trusted veterinarian.
It is possible to remove the virus from the animal’s coat with a bath because this virus is sensitive to chemicals. The shampoo used will kill the virus. But you can’t bathe the animal every day, because their coat is sensitive. If the pet is inside the house and everyone is in quarantine, you will need to bathe the pet once a week with the shampoo that is suitable for him.
Cats are more difficult to control than dogs, they walk on walls, roofs, and empty land, and they do not have much contact with people on the street. This lessens the chance of someone sneezing or coughing over them. A procedure that can be done is to use a dry bath, with veterinary spray, which can be used about twice a week.
In addition to the gelled alcohol on the paws when they return home, if possible. And in environments exposed to the sun, the virus does not resist long enough to pass to the cats’ paws and transmit it to someone. The dog has closer contact and walks on a leash, therefore having a more intense social life on the streets.
When pets are accustomed to sharing beds and sofas, and this pet stays indoors and does not have access to the street, it is dewormed and vaccinated, there is no problem staying on top of beds. But if they have contact with the streets and with other animals and people, they can carry the virus home.
If a person who has the virus coughs and sneezes on top of them, the pet will take the virus home. And, in the house, the more the animal goes back and forth, the more it distributes the virus. Just be extra careful and time their bathing times properly.
Pets Can Help People
Having a pet at home is a way of interacting and taking the person out of this state of morbidity, negativity, fear, and panic a little. You can propose social interaction, which is the primary function of the pet, especially for elderly people who are indoors, without walking the dog.
There are already many studies that demonstrate that the company of a pet makes a difference to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is also observed that living with pets increases the quality of life of older people, especially when their children leave home.
Having a pet nearby also lowers our stress hormone levels, which is the physiological explanation of why we feel so good with our pets and why we must care for them and keep them healthy and happy. You’re helping them help us!
While many countries around the world are in confinement, some pets are enjoying extra time with their owners. However, it’s not just advantages: they spend less time outdoors, don’t usually walk around so often, and some are even being abandoned, despite the lack of scientific evidence that pets can transmit the new coronavirus in the same way as humans.
With COVID-19, many people wonder how to act with pets that live with humans. The answer of the veterinarians is that inside or outside the quarantine, the animals need to receive special care so that they do not carry the virus between people through touch. Hopefully, this article has given you some clarity on how to avoid these situations and keep your pet healthy and happy.
Beatrix is a startup marketing specialist at Academic Writing Service and UK Writings, who has been involved in many beauty product divulging projects. She enjoys writing about several topics, like health and well-being, and how to take care of your pets at Essayroo.com. On the weekends she is a dog trainer and is the proud owner of two German Shepherds.