by Steffi Trott,
The Coronavirus has rapidly changed our lives in the recent weeks. This applies to every part, from work over social life to the time we spend with our favorite four-legged companions.
How does the Coronavirus impact your life with your dog, and what should you be aware of?
Grooming At Home
Trips to the groomer should be postponed for now. While your dog will be safe, it is an unnecessary potential exposure for you as the owner. This however does not mean that Fido needs to become a matted mess!
Set aside some time at least once a week to thoroughly brush your dog from head to toe – for dogs with very long and thick coats this might even be required twice a week.
Does your dog already have tangles and dreadlocks? Human detangler spray (such as they sell for little girls) works wonders and will turn even the messiest coat into a shining fur.
Don’t forget to brush your dog’s tail, it is especially prone to tangling.
No Routine Trips
Postpone routine vet visits for now. Selective procedures such as dentals and spay or neuter surgeries can wait for a bit. Of course, if your dog is actually sick or injured you absolutely need to take him in – in that case, just make sure to call ahead and schedule an appointment. Many vet clinics will happily have you go straight into an exam room rather than waiting in the entrance area.
No Training Classes
To minimize risk of infection, you should also not attend training classes for now. That does absolutely not mean that your dog is going to miss out on training – there are plenty of online dog training courses on the internet. You can also find hundreds of free trick tutorials on YouTube, or free blogs with training ideas.
When you return to your regularly scheduled classes in a bit, everyone will be impressed by how much your dogs has learned!
No Play Groups
Socializing has to go to the backburner for a while. While the dogs would be fine, the risk for human virus transmission during playdates is too big. You want to make sure however – especially for puppies and adolescent dogs – that they do not totally “forget” about the existence of other dogs. You can let your dog watch some doggy play on the TV, and play barking soundtracks on YouTube. This can even be used to help your dog start to overcome some deep-seated reactivity.
Hang In There
This isn’t forever. Life will be normal again, and you can resume all the fun activities you and your dog used to enjoy. Hug your furry friend and make the most out of your time together – maybe the time spent in isolation will bond you two even more.
Steffi Trott is a professional dog trainer from
Albuquerque, NM. www.spiritdogtraining.com