24/03/2020 12:00 AM
To help reduce the spread of coronavirus, we’ve all been told to stay at home as much as possible.
Under the latest measures, you should only leave your home to shop for basic necessities, to take one form of exercise per day, to attend to a medical need/provide care, or to travel to/from work where this cannot be done from home.
How can you best care for your dog during these unusual times?
You can still walk your dog, but remember to practise social distancing and keep two metres away from anyone outside of your household.
For those who are self-isolating at home, you can use your garden as a place for your dog to toilet and play, the RSPCA says.
If you need to take your dog out more than once a day see if other members of your household can assist with dog walking when taking their recommended daily exercise.
If this isn’t possible, a dog walker or boarder may be able to help — but they will need to know if you or your family members are ill, with precautions taken to protect you all.
If you have to take your dog out because none of these options are possible, then walk at a safe distance from other people and minimise the time you are outside.
When self-isolating it’s also important to make sure you have enough food for your dog, as well as any regular medication your pet needs.
In many cases it is possible to get help from friends and family, or have items quickly delivered to your door.
What about keeping your dog happy and active at home?
Dogs Trust has issued some tips for dog owners who need to self-isolate:
1. Have a treasure hunt — Hide some of your dog’s favourite treats in different rooms around the house and see how quickly they manage to locate them.
2. Play their favourite game — Catch? Fetch? Tug of war? They’re all great fun to your dog!
3. Make them their very own Snuffle Mat — This enrichment toy encourages your dog to sniff and search out hidden treats amongst the mat.
4. Build a Doggy Den — Create a cosy, comfortable place for your furry friend to sleep.
5. Teach them some new tricks — Dogs Trust has lots of easy to follow Dog School videos to help.
And remember: there’s no scientific evidence that we can give coronavirus to our pets or we can get it from them.
So give your dog a cuddle and enjoy spending time with them. It’s good for you both!
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