SEATTLE — Social distancing includes our dogs too and chances are, they are just as antsy as you to get out of the house. While taking a walk gets your fur baby moving around, they likely miss their daily routine. We asked a certified dog trainer for advice on how to keep our dogs happy at home.
Cathy Madson, Certified Dog Trainer with Preventive Vet, said it’s just as important to keep your pet stimulated mentally as well as physically. She suggested using dog 'puzzles,' like a Kong toy to keep your dog mentally engaged.
A dog does need physical exercise but it's important to keep social distancing in mind, even when you are out for a walk.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have found no evidence that animals can transmit COVID-19, it's important to keep people from touching your dog to avoid the spread of disease onto their coat or collar.
Social interaction is no problem if you've got kids at home to play with the dog, but how much attention is too much?
Madson said it's important to give your dog, or cat for that matter, a safe quiet place where they can go if the kids get too loud. Also, she emphasized the importance of cleaning up kids' crafts or even snack/chip bags. Both can pose a danger to dogs with some crafting supplies being toxic and chip bags are a suffocation hazard.
Now that we're all working from home our co-workers are getting to meet our fur babies and most of the time a visit from your pet is a welcomed distraction. But if their curiosity turns into a fit of barking Madson suggested sending your dog to a safe place with a toy.
Finally, when the lock-down eventually ends, and things get back to normal your pet may have a hard time adjusting back to life as usual.
Madson warned that your dog could experience separation anxiety. That's why she said it's key to leave your house for short amounts of time to take a walk or drive.
She said that reminds your dog that they can cope at home alone. Madson shared all her tips and tricks online and said some families have even hired virtual dog trainers to help guide people and their pets through this difficult time.