Quarantine means no one goes out — and that includes your pup, unless you have a private outdoor space for them. Here’s how to help your dog thrive while you’re both stuck indoors.
1. Shop Online
With lock down notice announced suddenly and insufficient time to prepare, shop online and buy a bag or 2 more than usual as we don’t know how long this lock down would be. Although it says until 31 March, it is always good to be prepared in case there is an extension. Although vet clinics are opened during this critical period too, good to stock up a little more just in case, on specific diets Pooch is on.
Shop online at popular platforms like Lazada, Shopee, Perromart, Tadaa, etc.
2. Potty Issue
A primary issue for dogs who are quarantined with their owners is the inability to go outside to relieve themselves. This is particularly concerning for dogs who live in apartments and who, under normal circumstances, must be walked multiple times a day, as opposed to dogs living at landed properties with private yards. Under quarantine dogs in apartments are going to need to do their business inside. Easiest way to teach your dog to potty in your apartment (something you probably spent a long time teaching not to do) is to act as if you are going outside.
To do this, prep for how “you would normally go for a walk,” which includes grabbing a leash, bags and treats. Cue to your dog that this is business as usual, even if it’s in a corner of your living room instead of down the block.
Walk your dog to the area where you want them to go during a time when you think they need to potty. For most dogs, this happens in the morning, after exercising, after eating or after a nap. If at first your dog doesn’t go, give it a break and return to another area of your apartment to hang out. Then watch for signs that your dog needs to potty and try again.
For cleanliness and to protect the area of the floor of your apartment that you are designating as the potty area, you can use newspapers, commercially available “pee pads” or even fake grass which can be delivered (can be found online). It’s important to “practice good hygiene when handling any excrement or urine, not because of Covid-19 per se, but because you don’t want to become ill from other transmissible diseases, like giardia or leptospirosis.
3. Provide Enrichment
Although you might not be able to keep your dog as physically active while under quarantine, you can still keep your dog mentally exercised. Purchase puzzle toys or treat dispensers to use in the house. Pooch not forgetting the felines too are very well aware of our routine and would be wondering why you’re at home like the whole day! “Crazy” pet owner like myself would talk to my 5 kitties explaining the issue and a loud MEOW I receive.
Anyway, back to the topic! You can use these treat toys by also stuffing Pooch’s meal into them, therefore, making it more enriching!
There may come a time you are struggling to “entertain” Pooch, reach out to your veterinarian or dog trainer. They’ll be able to come out with a solution.
People across Malaysia and around the world whose lives have suddenly been turned upside down by Covid-19, dogs who are stuck in quarantine with their owners may experience stress and even depression. Sounds weird when Pooch should be overjoyed to have your hooman presence but it does happen to some Pooches. In order to overcome those issues is to provide more enrichment and reassurance with loads of TLC (Tender Loving Care) and hopefully that would do the trick!
Lastly, remember to stock up during this period and treasure every moment with Pooch not forgetting feline too!