This post is not intended to dispute any medical or veterinary experts. It contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through the link, I’ll earn a small fee.
Help Your Dog Cope With Social Distancing
Due to the pandemic spread of COVID 19, more communities are asking people to stay home. While it is a scary time, at least we can understand why our lives are being disrupted.
If you live in an area that is asking (or ordering) social distancing, here are some tips to help your dog from going stir crazy. (Please note, this post is intended for people who are feeling healthy.)
First, take the situation seriously.
While it might be tempting to think of social distancing as a mini-vacation, follow the suggested measures to keep this disease from spreading. If you are taking your dog out for a walk, be sure to follow your local guidelines, including wearing a mask and maintaining a minimum of six feet distance between other people.
Second, remain calm and try to look for the things you can do, instead of dwelling on the things you cannot do.
I asked my Instagram friend Stella the Springer, who lives in Italy for some information. “Here, people can walk their dogs, but they mustn’t meet other dog owners. Furthermore, dog parks are closed, so dogs aren’t able to socialize with other dogs. Walks aren’t allowed in crowded places so the countryside is perfect.”
If your dog is used to going for doggie play dates or to the dog park, she might not understand why those have stopped. Now is the time to strengthen your bond with extra playtime, cuddles on the couch, and baking special treats.
One of the simplest forms of entertainment is to have a treasure hunt. We hide small pieces of kibble around the house. Our dogs get really excited when they sniff a piece of kibble out of an unusual spot.
You could also hide a favorite toy or ball. Reward your dog with a game of fetch (roll the ball if you live in an apartment or condo) or a game of tug. Make time for your pup especially if she is used to an active lifestyle.
Theo is a big fan of tug-of-war and loves our DIY tug toys as well as our DIY treat dispenser.
Other great ways to burn off energy are puzzles, as well as plush toys, and chew toys.
Teach Your Dog A New Trick
A great way to keep your pet mentally stimulating is to teach her a new trick. Here’s a list of 52 tricks to teach your dog. Positive reinforcement training is best!
Check our DIY tab for treat recipes as well as some fun DIY projects.
These banana beet treats are easy to make. If you don’t have beets, you can just make banana treats!
Chances are you have all the ingredients for these vegan carrot pupcakes already.
Adopt Or Foster A Dog (or Cat)
Social distancing permits more time to help a new pet adjust to your lifestyle. Before visiting a shelter, call and see if they are open! Unfortunately, there may be an increase in animals entering the shelters. If you can foster a pet at this time, it would make a big difference to the animal you foster as well as make room for another pet. As an added bonus: maybe you’ll discover the pet you foster is a perfect family member.
Hang Out On The Couch
My dogs love to hang out on the sofa when I watch TV or my kids play video games. They don’t really seem to care what I watch, they just want to snuggle. Some people report that their dogs really love DogTV.
Support Small Businesses On Etsy
Check out some of our favorite ideas to make staying home a little bit easier via Etsy.
If you are in the continental United States and are unable to take your dog out to do her business, you might want to consider getting Doggie Lawn.
Doggie Lawn is a subscription service that delivers real grass to your home. I think it would be especially useful if you aren’t feeling well, have a senior dog or puppy, or live in a high-rise building.
Limit non-essential vet appointments. (If you aren’t sure, call your vet.)
Groom your dog at home.
Make sure you have enough food and medication for your pet.
Follow the old adage “better safe than sorry” and make a plan for someone to take care of your pet in case you get sick. A pet-sitter checklist will increase the chances that your pup is properly cared for while you are recovering.
During this time of social distancing, many small businesses are taking a big hit financially. Consider buying a gift certificate from them now to use at a later date.
From the Experts
The World Health Organization currently advises that there is no evidence to suggest that dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.
From the American Veterinary Medical Association:
- “Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people.
- If you are not ill with COVID-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally would, including walking, feeding, and playing. You should continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your pet; keep your pet well-groomed; regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys).
- Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.”
Instagram friend Ludovica Pellccioni reminds us: “We (dogs) are not carriers of the coronavirus. We take care of you always and in all circumstances. Don’t abandon us, we will never do it.“
Do you have tips for helping pets and their people cope with social distancing during the COVID 19 outbreak?
You might also want to read Stay Home, Stay Healthy: Covid Guide for Dog Lovers.
these are great tips that ill be sharing with a few friends in the next couple of days 🙂
I really enjoyed reading this post. These are really helpful tips. I have to share this post with my friends who have fur babies.
Amber Myers says
This is great for those with dogs. I just have cats, who prefer to be away from people, so it works out.
I love that you’re suggesting fostering or adopting. One of the first things I thought about when this all started was the pets that would go without homes during this time – but it really is the PERFECT opportunity to bring a new companion into your space to keep you company – and for you to keep THEM company!
These are good ideas, as we all adapt to living in these hard times. It is good to have ways to pass the time with our pets when we are isolated like this.
Kelsey Harmony says
I’m going to try to do a new trick with my dog! That is a great idea.
Awe…I LOVE this! I can’t stay home with my pups, I am a nurse, but I love these ideas! I would foster a pup in a heartbeat!
Thanks so much for all you’re doing to take care of everyone!
Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
So much great info! We’ve been playing hide-and-seek with our pup! She’s enjoying it, and enjoying having both my hubs and I home all day 🙂
Gervin Khan says
As we are now facing a pandemic issue about COVID19, social distancing is very very important and these are great information and tips to share with my friends who are pet owners. Thank you!
Mama Maggie's Kitchen says
Social distancing is really essential nowadays. COVID 19 is really a terrifying virus. These ideas are really great for our fur babies. Thanks for sharing!
Lisa Martin says
Thank you for sharing! These will be really helpful. There is so much info for humans, but not a lot of suggestions for dogs.
Sarah Bailey says
These are some great ideas! Definitely a good time to think about different ways you can keep your dog happy and occupied!
My dog is very anxious so social distancing is our norm. I LOVE the idea of fostering during this time. It’s such an amazing way to help.
Yes, I’ve heard on the news that dogs can get the virus too. It’s great that you’re sharing all these info. This would be helpful for those who have pets.
My friend will appreciate these tips. She has a dog and she was concerned about Covid-19 situation!
These are great tips, yes I will share with my friend, COVID-1 9 is really scary sitituation.
These are some wonderful tips to keep her fur babies occupied in these crucial times! I wish our lives get back to normal soon!
These are great tips. I will forward this to my brother. He has a dog and he’s really concerned.
Ruth Epstein says
Great post and we are on lock down although I am walking Layla as much as possible. My vet cancelled her annual and they are not sure when they will be able to reschedule as they are open for emergencies only. Be safe all
The Dash Kitten Crew says
I could not believe the absolute rubbish circulating on ‘social media’ about animals and this virus. Unbelievable. The amount of ignorance and stupidity is scary and made worse by online chatter. No wonder many of us are avoiding it more!
Here in NZ things are not as dangerous as elsewhere and I aim to support my own small cafes with visits and buying stuff. Small businesses need us ore than ever now!
Angela Schneider says
I love making treats for Bella. I just made a ground turkey and sweet potato treat, binding it all together with dust from her Northwest Naturals freeze-dried treats. And her “ice cream,” which is a banana, a half cup of fat-free Greek yogurt and a half cup of peanut butter, mixed together and frozen. I have to try those beet treats, though. Thanks, Beth!
Jana Rade says
Great suggestions to help people make it through this. My hubby and I are hermits and I work from home so things are not much different for us on that front.
Sweet Purrfections says
Great tips! I was self quarantined until about an hour ago. I don’t have dogs, but I do have my two cats. I’ve been very careful around them but I haven’t stayed away from them. Luckily, they can keep themselves entertained (when they aren’t sleeping!).