Pet Owners Guide to Keeping Pets Active during a Pandemic

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People aren’t the only ones affected by the pandemic. Animals and pets from all over the world are also affected by suddenly being forced inside. While some are already used to this lifestyle, others have to adjust from always going out to suddenly being bound at home.

It is important to remember that pets need regular exercise as well. Since movement is limited from the lockdown, you have to figure out ways to keep them physically active while at home. Consider doing these actions to ensure that your pet gets the exercise they need.

Clear out the yard

Sadly, a lot of dog parks and other recreational spaces are closed because of the pandemic. If they are open, then social distancing is likely in place. However, there might still be several people present, so it would be better for your personal health to avoid it. A better alternative is to turn your backyard into a playing area for your pets.

For fortunate enough to have a garden or an open space in their home, then your pets can run around there instead. You might need to clear it out a bit to give them more room. Aside from that, your landscaping may need to be modified a bit to reduce urine spots and digging. Experts suggest doing hardscaping to prevent them from destroying the grass. Some tend to destroy plants, so a flower bed may be necessary, too.

This doesn’t need much work, and in fact, you can DIY all the yardwork. Building a fence, creating playing structures, and clearing out plants are extremely easy. Just make sure that you have the proper safety gear such as goggles, construction gloves, and protective eye masks when you do it.

Build an obstacle course

Similar to humans, pets also need to be stimulated mentally and physically. That’s why incorporating challenges that hone their problem-solving skills is important. Without this, they can become restless and easily bored, and this can lead to destructive behavior. One way to fix this is by making puzzles or obstacles inside or around your home.

Not only does this benefit their mind, but obstacles are also a great form of exercise for them. This is especially useful for those that have smaller pets. These can be courses that they can jump over or walk through like a maze. At first, they might not understand what to do, so you should train them a bit to help them understand.

Take walks early in the morning

Walks are, undoubtedly, the best way to release extra energy in them. This is both for exercise and mental health improvement. Experts say that pets, like humans, can get depressed when isolated for long periods of time. It can lead to more barking, destruction, and anxiety, so it is best to watch out for changes in their behavior.

The COVID-19 virus can also latch on and spread through pets and their fur. However, the chances of this happening are quite minimal. What you need to worry about more are people and surfaces they have come into contact with. If you really want to take them out on a walk, you do so during hours with fewer people. This can be either early in the morning or late afternoon, just before it gets dark. Walking in the middle of the day is possible too, but the sun may be too hot during those hours.

Another option is to take a different route. You can choose a path that has fewer people to reduce contact with others. The change of scenery may also prove to be helpful for them.

Play indoor games

As a pet owner, you should understand that taking care of a pet is like having a child. You need to make an active effort to engage them as well. Understandably, you are tired from work or school, but you still have a responsibility to play with your pets. Get them some toys so that they have something to do while you are busy.

Even if you don’t have any toys for them, there are many fun games for pets that you can do. Hide and seek is one option for those that live in a small apartment. Dogs, in particular, love playing tug of war with their owners. Just make sure that you don’t pull too hard that it hurts them.

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