Tips for taking care of your dog or cat at home

The well-being of a dog depends on three fundamental aspects, namely physical exercise, exploration of the outside environment, and social contact or interaction. All can be affected by the exceptional situation we are experiencing today, which leads to the drastic reduction in physical activity, the freedom to explore – especially through the sense of smell – and the lack of contact with people. as well as with other dogs. For all these reasons, we offer you a series of activities that you can do at home to stimulate and maintain the well-being of your dog during this period.

1. Play with your pet every day

Play can be a great way to encourage your dog to exercise, even while at home. The Foundation and Ultima recommend that you play with it at least twice a day, between 15 and 20 minutes each time. The animal will then remain active and this will also be a way of interacting with it.
You will adapt the different types of games according to the available space. The best known is to throw a ball or other toy so that your animal can go and retrieve it. But there are also other equally stimulating options that require less space, such as hiding small treats as a reward in different places in the room. Do it secretly and then encourage him to go get them.

2. Take the opportunity to educate your dog with positive education.

Now that we are sharing more time with our pets at home, now is a great time to consolidate your dog’s education with positive upbringing. This will allow you to strengthen the bond with the animal and the whole family (including children) can participate in this learning process. In addition, it will help improve the relationship with the animal and cohabitation with the family. Indeed, the stress linked to confinement can thus be avoided while facilitating adaptation to this new situation.
Positive education relies on using primary reinforcers or stimuli such as food, play, or cuddling to teach pets what they can and cannot do while setting limits. . This system reinforces good behavior and avoids punishment. In other words, don’t wait for your dog to make a mistake to correct him but instead teach him the right behaviors.

3. Control his diet and stimulate him with special bowls.

If your dog’s usual physical activity is limited these days, special attention should be paid to his diet so that the dog does not gain weight. In this sense, you can turn the mealtime into a game to better stimulate the animal. If you don’t have an “anti-glutton” bowl, there are two very easy ways to make them yourself at home:

  • Use cardboard tubes of kitchen paper rolls and make several holes. Hide some treats inside and seal both ends. Thus, you will mentally stimulate your animal who will play while swallowing the food in small quantities, which will facilitate its digestion.
  • Take a box and put a rag inside. Between the folds, hide treats for the dog to find.

How can I keep my cat from being stressed out these days?

Confining the whole family at home greatly changes your cat’s routine. This represents for him a loss of control over his environment and can lead to the appearance of stress. It is essential to prevent this from happening in order to preserve one’s well-being. To help him, we must respect his individual space, as cats tend to spend many hours alone. If you don’t want to stress them out during quarantine, there are two things you can do: 

  • It is very important to limit and control the interactions of children with the cat and that it has its own space to take refuge when it needs it. 
  • Leave an empty room so he can be alone and quiet , as he would on a normal day. 

“State of alarm” and pets: what is allowed?

France has been in partial containment since Tuesday March 17, 2020 at noon; travel must be limited as much as possible to avoid the risk of the spread of the Coronavirus and that also restricts the mobility of pets. Is it allowed to walk my dog ​​at any time and with someone else? Is there a maximum time allowed for walks?

  • It is allowed to take your dog outside so that he can defecate. But these walks must be short (1 hour maximum), within the perimeter of your home (not beyond 1 km). It is forbidden to walk the dog with several people: indeed, the walks must be individual, and avoiding any contact with other people and other animals.
  • You should bring a bottle of water and a urine cleaner and bags for feces. Moreover, this hygiene measure is not reserved only for periods of confinement.
  • Opt for less busy schedules to avoid contact. It is recommended to walk it in a radius very close to your home and with your dog on a leash.

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that pets play a role in the spread of COVID-19. However, the authorities recommend limiting contact with pets while strengthening hygiene measures  : when you go out for a walk your dog, it is recommended not to touch any object with your hands – such as handles, elevator buttons. , doors – or else to do it with gloves. Then disinfect the accessories correctly (leash, collar, etc.) and leave them at the entrance of the house just like your shoes. Finally, wash your hands well after touching them and before feeding your pet. Do not put a mask on him because it would be of no use to him and he could suffocate.

If a person is in quarantine, it is recommended that another person be able to support them during this period by welcoming them into their home.

Finally, don’t forget to be more patient with him during this time. He cannot comprehend what is going on and he may be more nervous than usual at times due to the disruption of his daily rhythm.