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How to care for your family dog during the Covid-19 pandemic

Have this list as your guide and you can do your own customizations along the way. Consult with your vet as well, to address some of your unanswered questions.

Unexpected lockdowns brought by the COVID-19 pandemic can be hard to deal with as this may be very stressful for you, so is to your furry friend. As much as you want to take care of your whole family, you should also look out for your dog’s overall health and well-being. 

This list provides ideas on how to take care of your family pet, in times of crisis.

1. Make sure to stock up enough pet-care supply
It is very important that you pay attention to your pet’s needs despite the clamor that was brought by the coronavirus pandemic. 

As you stock up for essential supplies like alcohol, face masks, and food for the lockdown, you might as well consider stocking up for your dog’s needs. Failure to do so will put your dog at risk. Some pet-care supplies that your pet needs include, and are not limited to the following:

• Joint Supplements
• Flea and Tick treatment 
• Pet Food 
• Toys 
• Hygiene Products

2. Do not overfeed
Overfeeding your dog will give you more harm than any good. Giving your pet more than what it should be eating will lead to various long-term and short-term risks. It will lead to obesity and may, later on, result in other diseases like issues in breathing, arthritis, and heart diseases. 

You may examine its physical attributes to know whether your dog is being overfed or not. If your dog’s ribs can still be easily felt and its waist is noticeable from its chest, then you are feeding your dog right. While if your dog’s chest is covered with thick fat and its waist is barely distinguishable from its chest and hips then you probably need to give it lesser portions of food. 

If you have other questions concerning what food to give your dog like “can dogs eat caramel?” or “what other human foods can you give your dog?”, you can simply ask for advice from your trusted veterinary office and see more info here.

3. Make an indoor or backyard potty
Making your dog an indoor or outdoor potty will help your dog “do its business” without feeling the stress of holding it for long periods. Take note that an indoor potty is equally important as a backyard potty because of the uncertainty of the day-to-day weather. 

As dogs are habitual, you may begin by designating a single spot as the permanent potty area. The ideal spot for your dog would be someplace that is private and easily accessible for your dog. You’ll have to place training pads over a plastic tarp to prevent your do’s accidents from staining your floor. You can also add an artificial turf sprayed with pheromone-based housebreaking spray that mimics a natural potty smell that will encourage your dog to potty over the specific spot. 

4. Quarantine yourself from your dog
The uncertainty of you having been struck by the virus is immeasurable. Apart from the fact that the virus is airborne, we still do not know what other possible carriers of the disease are.

Just to make sure, you need to quarantine yourself from your dog since we are not certain of its effects on other animals. Self-quarantining simply means that you need to isolate yourself from others as much as possible. It is recommended that you isolate yourself from others for at least 14 days, just to make sure that you have not contracted the virus. 

5. Have a contingency plan
Planning the entire lockdown with your pet and family is not enough. You have to have your contingency plans in case your primary plan does not go as planned. For instance, you should know that if you are planning for a grooming visit, you might want to prepare yourself to do the grooming of your dog, in case you cannot go to the pet salon. 

In essence, you have to create your plan in such a way that when the first plan won’t work, you will have to resort to the next best thing for your family and for your dog.

6. Look for indoor games to exercise your puppy
A long time inside the house can be very boring for your dog as it is for you. However, as much as you want to take your pet to the park, the COVID-19 lockdown gets in the way of you and your pup doing many kinds of activities.

Bored dogs can get into all sorts of trouble. They may develop destructive habits like excessive barking, chewing, and may become unruly when other people or animals are around. To tone your dog’s energy without going outside, you can employ any of the following:

• Playing any enrichment games like shell games or find the treat
• Teach your dog to learn new tricks 
• Master the basics of obedience training 
• Provide toy for your pet to play with

7. Create a schedule
Your dog is very accustomed to doing routine work so, it is important to create an orderly routine and a sustainable schedule for you and for your dog. A simple routine schedule may include the time for sleeping, feeding, and playing routines.

Having your pet accustomed to the exact time of sleeping will help it learn to anticipate your established routine of sleeping and waking up. This will also reassure their comfort and adequate sleep to prepare them for another jam-packed day.

Feeding your dog at the same time will be important for their metabolism as well as their overall wellbeing. In establishing your dog’s feeding routine, you should start gradually without disrupting its current feeding time.

Dogs love to play and always look forward to it every day. It would be very helpful to create a playtime schedule for your pet because your dog will more likely anticipate playtime if it happens during a specific time period of the day. 

Always take note that when setting up these routines, do it as gradually as possible. Do not crowd your dog with too much information about new routines as this may only disrupt their thinking process. 

8. Secure for medical emergencies
You must acquire the knowledge of first aid for dogs in case your pet is caught in an accident. You may want to look out for signals that may tell that your pup is not in a good condition. Some of these signals include difficulties in standing, pale gums, seizures, loss of consciousness, vomiting or diarrhea, eye injury, or weak and rapid pulse. 

Remember that medical emergencies are a serious matter. Having a medical professional to assess your pet’s health is important and the use of first aid alone would not help your dog recover from any illnesses. However, it will increase your pet’s chances of surviving a certain medical emergency. 

9. Ensure your pet’s medical records are updated
Keeping the medical records of your pet updated will ensure that your dog’s required vaccinations and deworming records are not outdated. This will also serve as the basis of your dog’s veterinarian whenever your dog undergoes any medical operations. The medical record is also important whenever you purchase your pet healthcare insurance.

10. “Stay calm”
Dogs are capable of sensing human emotions, so, whenever you feel scared sad, or sick, your dog can simply look into your body language and pick up your mood. If you act out of fear In difficult situations, your dog’s reaction would be a change in its behavior. Your pet may feel threatened which may result in being reactive to other people and other dogs or bite out of its psychological response. Hence, keeping your calm will definitely help your furry friend.

You & your furry friend deserve the best no matter what
In times of crisis like the COVID 19 pandemic, you, your family, as well as your pet deserve to have a healthy overall well-being. Have this list as your guide and you can do your own customizations along the way. Consult with your vet as well, to address some of your unanswered questions.

Photo by nomao saeki on Unsplash