Caring for your dog when you can’t go out
All over the world, people are struggling with the ‘new normal’ – extended periods stuck at home when you can’t go outdoors. And even when you can, there are a lot of restrictions.
Now imagine: How much more difficult is it for your dog to understand why they can no longer run free and play ‘chase’ in the park?
Here are a few tips from pet lovers at IKEA that can help you keep your dog or other pets healthy and fit when you can’t take them outside.
Prepare for your pet
When we know we’ll be stuck at home for long, we immediately stock up on essentials like toilet paper and groceries. If you’ve got pets, always remember to buy the things they’d need as well.
Think beyond just stocking pet food on the pantry shelf: choose some interesting toys, while also making sure you have extra medication for conditions such as ticks, fleas, as well as regular prescription meds that they might need.
One major aspect of training your dog for life indoors is potty training again. If you live in a house with its own yard, then half of your problem is solved. You can just let your pet out and he will soon learn to do his business in one corner of the yard, where you teach him that it is okay.
If you live in an apartment, then you need to teach him to ‘go’ inside the apartment. This may take some time. Do your research online on how to do this.
You also need to prepare a space inside or out on the balcony under a parasol that he/she can use. Fake grass or pee pads are possible solutions in these areas. Make sure that you are also adequately protected by using gloves and practising good hygiene when cleaning up – this is not the time to fall sick.
If you have a long hallway, staircase or a big living room, use it as a place for your dog to run and exercise. Play ‘fetch’ with tennis balls or soft toys – this will help burn off some excess energy.
Mental exercise is as important as physical activity in burning up your pet’s energy. Puzzle toys or treat dispensers are great ways for dogs to exercise.
You can also hide treats for your pet inside the apartment, in different rooms. Let them loose on a ‘treasure hunt’ for the hidden goodies. You can even enlist your kids so everyone can have a good time.
Last but not least, understand that pets too need time to get used to the new situation, so be patient.