How to engage yourself with pets during COVID-19 lockdown?
An unprecedented, unforeseen global crisis like COVID19 has bound us all to our homes. For any dog parent, and the beloved pet, it can be a highly depressing scenario – no morning-evening strides in the park and the heightened fear of transmission.
This does not necessarily mean that cannot step out at all to assist your pet in relieving itself. Look for a spot on the terrace of your apartment, or any other designated place and train the pet well to use that in the event of an emergency. Pets have an uncanny ability of sensing extraordinary situations, so rest assured that with some gentle training, your pet will pick up the right cues.
Next the SPCA, a Council for Animal Management based out of New Zealand) has posted some very good advice on its website on how to keep yourself, your dog and the rest of the community safe, when you have no choice but to take him out for a stroll.
“Avoid places where social contact is likely, maintain a two-metre distance from other people, don’t let people pet your dog, make sure you avoid touching your face and wash your hands after your walk,” say SPCA experts. The ideal time chosen for a walk should be at the crack of dawn or very late in the evening, when you are likely to meet fewer other strollers. Also make sure while walking that you hold the leash tight and not let your pet sniff other pets on the street to maintain social distance. While there is no evidence to suggest that COVID19 also gets transmitted through animals, it’s yet advisable to be cautious.
When You Return
Then when you get home, besides complete sanitisation for yourself, also ensure that your pet also gets an equal amount of attention. Soak a towel in an alcohol-based sanitizer and rug him clean with it.
Play with It
Just as you can get bored sitting at home, your pet can also get depressed. To beat that emotion, provide a variety of toys and just as you would try and engage your child with different stimulating activities, engage with your pet by teaching it a new trick, playing treasure hunt and encouraging it to look for it etc.
Although vets and doctors are counselling their patients on phone and email and emergency medical services are open during lockdown under the Essential Services Act, try and minimise the risk of accident, injury or infection in your dog as well. Here are a few more ideas on how to keep your pets engaged during these difficult times.
Plan a Photo Shoot
Pets love to pose for their owners. A lockdown is an excellent time to take candid pictures of the two of you together and then mail it to Pawstro, a platform that specialises in making pet paintings from photos, so you can have this lonesome period captured for posterity. A moment like the present is not going to get repeated in history again (God Forbid!), so why not commit the memory to a dog painting that would keep the memory alive for a long time to come? At Pawstro, dog portraits don’t cost the moon and bring rich, emotional rewards to the owner for the furry creature.
And you don’t have to step out of the house for this. Either do a fresh shoot, or pore over the pictures you already have and mail the soft copy to Pawstro, and in a week, you will get your portrait. The best news is the site is also offering an additional 10% discount during this lockdown period.
They Deserve It
Thousands of scientific studies conducted in the past prove that people with pets, enjoy better emotional and physical health than their peers without pets. If you count yourself in the luck few, get a dog painting done now and flaunt it on your social media pages to inspire others to follow your example.
In an interview with YS Weekender, Devanshi Shah, Founder and CEO of PetKonnect, an agency that works on providing a better, safe and loving environment for pets, implores people to get off their gadgets and get engaged with their pets for their own emotional well-being.
Spending more than the necessary amount of time on your gadgets can also cause a feeling of loneliness, isolation and despair. “People with pets, on the other hand, have a meaningful emotional bond with another creature and they need to be responsible for them. This gives them a sense of purpose and direction in their lives, regardless of whether they have an office job to do or not,” says Shah.
Undoubtedly, the company of pets can play a vital role in decreasing your anxiety and stress levels during the times of COVID19 pandemic.