Written by Salomi Odendaal
Suddenly you and your dog are together at home – all day, every day. It’s a new and largely unfamiliar situation for both of you. Why not use this time together to strengthen your relationship and enjoy some new, fun activities?
Working from home, or just spending a lot of time at home because of Coronavirus, presents a unique opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Use this opportunity to do things you’ve wanted to do, but have never had to time for previously. Is there room for an improved relationship and/or behavior? If so, put a plan in action, or otherwise just enjoy being with your four legged friend.
Don’t allow the days to flow into one another without a specific plan or definite goals. A good start is to set a routine, that the dog will catch onto and also enjoy. This means setting a time for getting up, having meals, and for playing, exercising, or walking. Set home rules – no demanding your attention while you’re working, and no treats every time you go to the fridge…
Whatever your preference is, exercising with your dog takes you and him away from work. You get fresh air and spend time together. It’s an important aspect of the daily routine and can help to alleviate stress and boredom. Use the time productively, like teaching your dog new commands (or reinforcing old ones), playing games like hide and seek, or teaching her new tricks. Just get moving!
Never had time to really teach your dog basic commands? Now you can do it while you’re exercising and playing. Or reinforce the old ones that got lost in the daily routine before the virus. You’ll end up with a happy and confident dog to be proud of.
You can make toys for your dog – or get someone else in the family that is bored to do it. You’ll be surprised at what you can manufacture with stuff you have in the home. No need for expensive toys that either lose their attraction or get destroyed within days.
Okay, this may not be everyone’s idea of bonding with your dog. But the trend towards home made and raw dog food is well established, and there is a wealth of information available on the Internet. It’s often cheaper than manufactured dog food, and you know exactly what your dog is eating.
When you spend so much time together, you want your pooch to be clean. So why not try and groom your dog yourself? This will obviously depend on the space and the equipment you have available. Start by brushing your dog thoroughly, preferably outside! While doing this, and she is having a blissful time, pay attention to the cleanliness of her ears, length of the toenails, the teeth, and any other abnormalities you may not be aware of.
The virus situation is a given. As an individual or family, you have to make the most of it. Learn how to live with your dog during Covid-19, it’s a new experience for both of you. Wherever possible, make it work for you and for your dog. Unforeseen benefits may arise that will continue long after this is over.
Written by Salomi Odendaal
Salomi Odendaal has been a dog lover her whole life long. She writes copy and content writing for for dog websites, as well as doing pet sitting for families when they are away from home. You can find her on LinkedIn, or visit her website www.dogasapet.weebly.com