The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a groundbreaking disruption in our day to day lives. From being limited to staying at home, to being furloughed and getting salary pay cuts, among other things, almost everything has been hectic since its outbreak.
Caring for your dog may also be a challenge during these trying times, especially if you test positive for the virus or you don't have enough pet supplies at home. In this piece, we outline practical recommendations that will make it easy to take care of your dog during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Read on.
1. Develop a Routine and Stick to it
The stay at home orders due to coronavirus limited our movements. Since then, we find ourselves spending more time at home. We also find ourselves getting more attached to our furry canine friends than before.
It's however worth noting that this abrupt switch in daily routine may not end well with our pet dogs. These orders will be lifted –that’s for sure, and we'll all resume our daily activities. It may not be the same for the dogs when we finally get back to the 'normal life' though.
If we keep them too close during this pandemic period, they're more likely to suffer anxiety, fear, restlessness and stress when we finally leave them alone to get back to work. To protect your dog from having these unfriendly experiences once the sit at home orders are removed, you must develop a routine that will take care of this.
Ideally, you can specify feeding times, the waking up times and 'alone times' for the dogs on your schedule. Ensure that you only walk them at a similar time that your dog handler would take them out for walks and give them sufficient 'alone' time.
Maintaining such schedules will help you limit possible separation anxiety feelings on the dog when you finally get back to work or school. It will also ensure that your dog finds it easy getting used to a new pet handler if you'll need somebody to take care of it.
2. Maintain an Adequate Pet-care and Food Supply
Your schedules could have been impacted due to the pandemic. It is, however, recommendable that you try to ensure that the impact doesn't extend to the pets.
Here's a smart way to ensure steady pet-care and food supplies at home.
Stack up all the necessary items that your pet may need. These include medications, treats and toys, among others.
This will help you limit continuous movements in search of dog food, something which may even put you at risk of contracting the infection. It will also help ensure that your pet doesn't run out of food and medications because your movements are limited.
If you hadn't planned for this early, you shouldn't panic still. You can connect with reputable pet stores to deliver all the pet products that you may need to your location.
This will not only help you limit contact with other human beings but also save you transport fees, especially if you order from online stores like Tailbangers that offer free shipping for orders over 49$
3. Develop a Contingency Plan
Animal care experts recommend that pet owners develop a contingency plan in response to the infection. This will primarily be critical just in case you get an extended hospital stay.
Ideally, you should identify someone you can trust who will take care of the dog when you're not able to do so. Let them know if the pet may need any special medical care and also give them detailed instructions on medications if the pet is undergoing treatments.
It is also advisable that you limit contact with the dogs if you feel any coronavirus related symptoms. This will help ensure that another close friend or family member doesn't catch the virus.
When you're sick, and you hug, sneeze on or kiss your dog, the virus particles could attach themselves on its body. If another family member touches the dog and then use the same hand to touch their faces or mouth, they could contract the infection. If you're going for an extended hospital stay, be sure to connect with medical professionals to guide you on the necessary precautions to take when leaving the dog for a caretaker.
4. Don't overfeed the dogs
It is estimated that approximately 56 percent of dogs suffer from obesity-related complications. Medical reports also point out that obese dogs are more likely to display unpleasant behaviours like snapping at your visitors, growling or barking.
These can not only affect the dog's welfare but also stress out your family members. To avoid these instances, especially now that most dog owners spend most times with the canine friends, you must avoid overfeeding them.
To achieve this, you can document its daily feeding habits, so you know how much you give it per day. Feed it only the instructed amount that match its body weight and size, give them treats sparingly and most importantly don't provide it with table craps since the dog foods come with all the necessary nutrients that the dog may need.
5. Update all the medical records
We're still trying to understand COVID-19 better, and it is hard to predict how long we're going to remain in this situation. Keeping your dog's medical records will be valuable just in case the infection becomes widespread, and there's something that your pet critically needs.
If you suspect that you could be sick or you've tested positive for COVID-19, these resources will be valuable for a new veterinarian, or pet sitter who will be attending to the dog in your absence.
If your pet is stressed out and begins to act abnormally, keep calm and pet gently to calm them. You can also keep them mentally and physically active with the help of indoor games and exercises.
Finally, if you're going to separate from your pet perhaps to seek medical attention, be sure to give it collar tag or microchip and tattoos to help identify it when you finally come back. If you're self quarantining at home, wear face masks and wash your hands always. Don't forget to only order pet foods online from reputable pet stores to limit human contact and constant movement.