Handling Your Dog During The Lockdown And The Quarantine

Asia’s leading Canine Behaviourist and PT Columnist, Shirin Merchant, shares extremely relevant and crucial ‘Do and Don’t’ guidelines for pet-owners during the ongoing Lockdown and Quarantine cycles.

It’s been nearly two weeks that we are all Lockdown, and some in Quarantine, isolating ourselves, in an effort to flatten the curve. 

Sit! Stay! The 21-Day Dog Challenge

Things you should ABSOLUTELY NOT DO to your dog during the lockdown:

  • Do not cut your dog’s nails on your own, especially if you have no experience in doing so and moreso, never try it using human nail cutters.
  • Do not paint your dog’s nails – no matter how bored you are. 
  • Do not give your dog a haircut on your own. This will not turn out well. Trust me. 
  • Do not wallow in sadness together and share a drink to bond, unless the drink is chicken soup. Alcohol, as you should know, is dangerous for dogs. 
  • No binge feeding – no matter how well your dog begs. Binge eating isn’t good for you or your dog. 
  • Please do not take 100 selfies of you and your dog every ten minutes and share on social media. 
  • Don’t ‘sing’ together. Group howling sessions may seem fun to you but are not fun for your neighbours. 
  • Do not keep clinging to your dog. Give him some alone time away from you to enjoy his own company. 
  • Do not keep dressing up your dog in various outfits through the day. Your dog is not amused by it. 
  • Do not keep working and ignore your dog all day. Lockdowns come rarely in history. Make the most of your time to bond and play with your dog. 

But despite all the precautions, what if you or a family member does get infected? If you have symptoms of Coronavirus, if you are under self- quarantine, isolation, or are sick or under medical supervision, here are a few things you should keep in mind, with regard to your pet: 

 

  • You may not be able to completely isolate yourself from your dog, but do try keep any interactions between your dog and you, to an absolute minimum. If you need to interact, ensure you wear a mask and wash your hands thoroughly before and after any contact with your dog. 
  • Do not allow your dog to lick your face or to kiss you and do not kiss your dog, share food, utensils, touch bedding, toys or any dog items. 
  • If possible, ask others in your family who are well, to take care of your dog. You won’t be allowed to take your dog outside, so ask someone else to help out at that time to take your dog for a walk. Keep in mind they will also need to follow certain precautions of hygiene and safety.
  • Do have your dog bathed regularly.
  • Animals in homes, where a person is COVID-19 positive, should be kept indoors as much as possible and contact with those pets should be avoided. 
  • If you are the sole caregiver for your dog, do prepare in advance for a situation where you might need to be hospitalized. In advance, appoint a friend or neighbour as temporary caregiver with instructions on who can care for your dog during the time you are away. 

  • Ensure you have stocked up on enough dog food and any medicines your dog might need daily. 
  • Pack away an extra blanket for your dog, bowls, toys, treats, a copy of the vaccination certificate and a leash in your kit. 
  • Write out your dog’s schedule, diet, timings, list your vet’s number in case of an emergency and any helpful advice which can help the caregiver take care of your pet.

    Most importantly, please note, that at no point should you leave your dog alone at home whilst you are away at the hospital. Preparing a contingency plan in advance can help your dog and reduce your stress in case of an emergency. I know at this point that none of us want to consider all of this, but its always better to be prepared than to end up in a situation where your dog is locked up in your house, abandoned, unfed, uncared for and harmed.


It’s always best to be prepared! 

So stay safe and keep your pooch safe too!

 

Shirin Merchant

About Shirin Merchant

Shirin Merchant looks forward to answering all relevant queries from our readers. Please write in to: k9cancare@hotmail.com or mailparsitimes@gmail.com