Outdoor Etiquette with Your Dog During the Coronavirus Quarantine
Social distancing is a vital aspect of combatting COVID-19 and while it’s not easy for you, it’s no walk in the park (literally and figuratively) for your dog either! For the most part, hounds are social creatures who love playtime with others, so a lockdown goes against their natural instincts. Let’s take a closer look on how your dog’s daily life is temporarily affected and what you can do to keep them happy, healthy, and active while adhering to the social distancing guidelines.
How Does Quarantine Impact Your Dog’s Daily Life?
Quarantine impacts your dog’s daily life much like it affects yours. Aside from trips to relieve him/herself, now they have to spend limited time outdoors. Forget about socializing with other hounds. Dog parks and interactions while on a walk are put on hold for now. It’s also possible that your dog is having a difficult time adjusting to all of the family being home at once—especially if you have kids who are making a lot of noise. As much as you may have your own self-isolation issues, try to be sensitive to your dog’s issues.
Your dog needs to follow the same quarantine etiquette as you, so that means keeping a distance of at least six feet (two meters) from other humans and hounds. Remember how important it is to not let your dog interact with other pooches. To make this easier for both of you, avoid dog parks and even regular parks where dogs typically like to gather and play. Even just spotting another dog without being able to give them a good sniff could make your furball frustrated, which in turn could prompt a behavioral issue back at home. Of course, maintain regular etiquette, such as picking up after your pooch.
In the unfortunate event that you or someone in your household contracts COVID-19, public health officials strongly recommend that the infected person(s) avoid contact with pets as a precautionary measure until more information is known about the virus. If possible, give all dog-related duties to another member of your family. If this is not possible (perhaps you live alone), abide by the rules established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include avoiding close contact with your pet (kissing, sleeping, hugging, etc.), wearing a mask, regularly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and thoroughly washing your hands before and after any interaction with pets. You should also wash up after sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose, or touching your face or mouth.
Ideas for Getting Your Dog Outdoors in a Less Social Environment
You don’t necessarily have to forgo walks altogether, but try to take your dog out during off-times such as early in the morning or later in the evening when there’s likely to be fewer people and pets taking a stroll. Opting for less-crowded streets is not only a smart idea, but it will also mentally stimulate your dog because you’re taking a different route. If you have a fenced-in yard or patch of green space, set up an agility course. While certain breeds like border collies flourish in agility training, all dogs can benefit from this obstacle course-like setting using dog play equipment that challenges mental and physical health. Along with developing your dog’s social skills, you’ll also be giving their self-confidence a boost. Providing that you help your dog go through the course, you’ll both stay fit while creating a bonding experience.
Keep Your Dog Entertained with a Custom KONG Box
Since you are likely going to be indoors more, playtime is important more than ever before. From a mental perspective, your pooch gets cabin fever just like you, which may lead to behavioral problems such as excessive chewing, biting, barking, and even eating. A customized KONG Box can provide you with the right toys to negate some of these behaviors. Simply tell us a little bit about your dog and we’ll do the rest. Donate $1 to Best Friends Animal Society, sign up for either a 6- or 12-month subscription, and your first box is on us!