During the current health crisis, we are all making changes and sacrifices in our daily lives that we never anticipated having to make. Initially, you and your furball might have been thrilled to share more time together amidst the recent, forced home-isolation. But whenever schedules change, it can present some trouble for our pets to adjust. Your dog is most likely not used to having you home all the time and might get restless or anxious as a result.
The good news for our pets is that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization both agree that there currently appears to be no data to show that our four-legged companions can spread the coronavirus.
Even if you have a backyard, as summer approaches and temperatures rise here in Arizona, our canines might not be getting much fresh air at all. For those who are working from home in the meantime, you’ll likely face extra challenges with your rambunctious pup. So what can you do to attend to your dog who is struggling with the quarantine life while not losing your sanity? Here are four ways to help your dog adjust to being stuck indoors:
1. Offer Plenty of Stimulation & Home Exercise
Every dog is unique and may require different solutions based on the space available in your home. Depending on where you live, a short walk around the neighborhood could still be a safe option. However, as States begin enforcing self-quarantining, you and Fido may be relegated to the home 100% of the day. To manage your pup’s energy you’ll need to get a little creative, play fetch on the stairs, set up an obstacle course, play hide-and-seek or engage in a game of tug-of-war.
During meal times, opt to feed your canine from a frozen Kong, which will offer hours of entertainment. You may also consider buying a puzzle or a treat dispenser that can keep your dog distracted for a bit.
2. Give Fido Loads of Attention
Your pup may need more attention now that you and the family are home all day long. Be sure you are giving your fur baby lots of pets and talking to them in a calm and positive voice. It may also be helpful to keep their bed near where the family is sitting so that they can feel like a part of the group.
3. Enforce Alone Time When Appropriate
Since your dog is most likely used to having the house to himself for part of the day, home-isolation presents the opportunity for your dog to become over-stimulated. Giving your dog some crate-time away from the family can be helpful in managing his moods. When you give your dog a stuffed Kong it can be a good time to let him chill in his crate away from the busy living room or kitchen.
4. Manage Your Own Emotions
Animals are sensitive creatures and can pick up on our emotions. That means when we are stressed they might have a tendency to pick up that energy—and there is a lot to be stressed and anxious about right now. Your companion animals may absorb this tension and begin to act out or regress when it comes to bad behaviors. When possible, try being conscious of the energy you are emitting around your furry friend. If he begins to exhibit some bad behaviors, try to stay calm and speak kindly to him.
Vet in Gilbert, AZ
As a local vet in Gilbert, Arizona, our team at East Valley Animal Hospital knows that this is a difficult time for many families. In addition to following the current health guidelines put out by the CDC, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) advises, “Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.”
If your pet is experiencing an emergency, needs veterinary care, or is struggling with home-quarantine, please don’t hesitate to call for advice or schedule an appointment. We are committed to the health of you and your pets, now more than ever.
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay (3/30/2020)