While you might think this is the perfect time to dress up your dog or to profess your love to him 100 times a day, give your pets space.
If our cats and dogs had social media, they’d be jealous of the wild goats running around on the streets of Wales or the cheeky otters taking over Singapore walkways. But while every dog may have its day, this is not it.
Like their human companions, pets across the world are cooped up indoors. And like us, their mood, weight and exercise routine will have gone, well, to the dogs.
We ask experts how we can take care of our furry friends during this period of quarantine.
A tiger in the Bronx Zoo tested positive for coronavirus as well as a few dogs in Hong Kong. But experts feel the chance of your dog getting Covid-19 are slim. A recent study also suggested that the virus may also have hopped from bats to dogs before infecting humans, but experts are saying there isn’t enough evidence to prove this and it seems unlikely.
Pets are pretty good at adapting to the spaces so play time with them at home can compensate for a walk in the neighbourhood or run around in the yard.“All major health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) say that there is no evidence that a companion animal has transmitted the virus that causes Covid-19 to a person,” says Dr Sujit Paul, Founder, WoofWoofNow. However, people who are sick with or receiving medical attention for Covid-19 should avoid close contact with animals. “
In the doghouse
Since their human companions are at home, pets, especially dogs and cats, are generally happy. But, they can pick up on the stress that’s going on around us. “If dogs pick up on this stress it might show up in the form of some behaviour problems. You may suddenly see your toilet trained pup having accidents, or find your favourite sunglasses chewed up,” says Tanya Patel, dog trainer and behaviourist.
When it comes to their physical health, experts say that the focus should remain on diet and exercise. “Urban pets are quite used to being confined in small spaces for extended periods of time. Try and keep them active by part-taking in some innovative indoor routines with them. Why not go online and figure out simple tricks you could teach them,” says Ruchita Avhad, Co-Founder, PetKonnect.
“Pets are pretty good at adapting to the spaces so play time with them at home can compensate for a walk in the neighbourhood or run around in the yard,” says Srivatsava Gorthy, Founder, Petpal.
Dietary changes should depend on how much exercise pets are getting. “You may use a weighing scale to monitor the body weight of your pet on a weekly basis. When there is less daily physical exercise, it is ideal to reduce the quantity of meals than reducing the frequency of food,” says Dr Gokhale.
Sit and stay
And while it makes sense to go easy on the treats, go easy on the molly cuddling too. “While you might think this is the perfect time to dress up your dog or to profess your love to him 100 times a day, give your pets space. Don’t forget at the end of the lockdown we’ll all be back to work and Fido will be alone at home again,” says Patel.