Being quarantined to your apartment?
What to do with your dog?
There are several things that you can do to prepare yourself and your dog to be quarantined inside your home or apartment.
Also remember that your local dog trainer is also stuck at home. Most will be offering some sort of remote dog training. This can be done through a phone conversation, face-time, Skype, or zoom. Others are taking advantage of Facebook Live and YouTube.
The easiest way to teach your dog to potty in your apartment (something you probably spent a long time teaching it not to do) is to act as if you are going outside.
To do this, you should prep for how you would normally go for a walk which can include grabbing a leash, bags and treats. This will cue your dog that this is business as usual, even if it’s in a corner of your living room instead of down the block.
Walk your dog to the area where you want them to go during a time when you think they need to potty. For most dogs, this happens in the morning, after exercising, after eating or after a nap. If at first your dog doesn’t go, give yourselves a break and return to another area of your apartment to hang out. Then watch for signs that your dog needs to potty and try again.
For cleanliness and to protect the area of the floor of your apartment that you are designating as the potty area, you can use newspapers, commercially available “pee pads” or even fake grass.
Exercise and Feeding
Although you might not be able to keep your dog as physically active while under quarantine, you can still keep your dog mentally exercised.
Learn to do some training with your dog while inside. Most all dog trainers are offering phone consults and online virtual dog training.
#1 tip: Take away their food bowl and use their meal for training or feed all meals from food toys which would make mealtime more enriching for your dog.
You can even make puzzles for your dog with items you already have around your home. Two simple puzzles that will entertain your dog:
• Box Puzzle: If you have been getting a lot of deliveries, you probably have boxes. With your dog in another part of the apartment, arrange empty boxes on the floor and hide treats in some of the boxes. Show your dog the boxes and let your pup use its nose to find the hidden treats. Rearrange the boxes with more treats.
• Cupcake Puzzle: Take an empty cupcake baking tray and 12 (or as many as you have) tennis balls. Place treats or pieces of your dog’s kibble into some but not all of the baking tray’s cups, and cover all of the cups with the tennis balls. Show your dog the tray and see how long it takes for your dog to move the right balls to find the hidden food. Each time you play, change where you place the treats in the baking tray.
Another thing to consider is that you are staying home with your dog more than ever. Dogs are creatures of habit just like we are. Make sure to keep up with some of your daily routines and give your dog some alone time or crate time just as you would if you were leaving the home.
If you don’t, there is a good chance that they will go through separation anxiety when you do finally go back to work.
Yes, you need to be aware of your dogs overall mental health during this time. They may become anxious, nervous or depressed.
There are all natural calming aids that can help your dog through. Most of them will have some combination of natural herbs and essential amino acids.
Calming Aids help promote normal nervous system function. Thiamine and L-Tryptophan help reduce stress and tension for situations such as traveling and fireworks.
These are safe for your dog, however I would not go by the dosage on the package. (1 per 10 lbs) Instead, for dogs under 20 lbs, cut one in half and give 1/2 morning and 1/2 evening. For dogs over 20 lbs, give 1 morning and 1 evening.
Contact your veterinarian if your dog is on any other medications or has any health issues. For use in dogs over the age of 12 weeks only.
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