Things To Do
The COVID-19 outbreak originated from in Wuhan, China, in late December 2019. This is a HUMAN VIRUS that is transmitted from HUMAN to HUMAN, and not from HUMAN to ANIMAL. It is not carried through our pets. We ask all pet owners to not take any steps to rid of your animals. There is no need to avoid or abandon your pets.
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, “there is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this human disease or that they become sick. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by the COVID-19 virus.”
Let’s Be Clear
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell. It is spread through human contact with someone who is carrying the virus and predominantly through coughing and sneezing. It is also spread from a surface or object that has the virus on it. A human will become infected if they touch the infected surface and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth.
How To Avoid Catching The COVID-19 Virus
Pets are creatures of habit. They thrive on routine. They love having us in lockdown. Giving them 24.7 attention tummy rubs treats and cuddles. However, they too are confused with the sudden changes in the household. They miss walks, Park runs, alone time. Some animals do – as much as we don’t understand it – enjoy chilling alone. Here are some ideas to keep your pets mind active and tire them with this new routine.
Hide some treats and favourite toys around the home, especially smelly goodies. This will encourage them to use their senses.
Reward him/her – animals love affirmation.
Put treats under cups/plastic containers, affording them to activate memory to choose cups that have treats and avoid those without treats.
Frozen large bones will keep them busy for a long while. How about using an ice cream tub and filling with a liquid meat gravy with goodies, such as biltong, frozen in the sauce. Hours of a yummy activity!!
Of course, chewing is a dog’s favourite pastime and can be a great activity and distraction from the mundane. Fill Kongs with treats. This will also keep dental health
Teach an old dog new tricks – how about it? Most dogs respond to certain words. How about some new words or facial games, or sounds, they are driven by human interaction. They love ball play and rewards. Use a clicker (if you don’t have on hand use a bell or make a rattle)
Teach basic commands: does he already know the important commands like “sit”, “stay”, “come”? Now is the time to put in some hours of reward-based training. You can try it with clicker training: More here!
Teach names: give toys names and ask your dog to fetch “teddy”, “ball”, or “dolly” and put them in a box.
Tidying up: much to the delight of your children, train your dog to also put away his toys, preferably in a box.