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5 Things to do with dogs in the days of “COVID-19”

“Living with a dog means living a special love relationship, difficult to describe”

A banal statement, perhaps yes but very true; thousands are life stories, anecdotes, legends, photo shoots, books that tell the truth of this concept and how many things to do with dogs. And we all know that tourists who love plein air are very often in the company of one or more animals. Large or small, purebred or rescued from kennels, we campers are perhaps the type of human who most divides their existence with an animal.

We have always taken them with us on vacation, with dogs we take long walks, we go to beaches that accept them, we always choose restaurants and campsites where they can enter; and if we do not find anything, we also remain in free park with our friend.

Normally our work and busy life take us away from home almost all day and we dedicate to our animal companions, in the evening with long walks and the weekend, as we do, to leave together.

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But in this period we cannot go out with dogs, as we would like, if not for short walks necessary for their needs; nothing ran to the park to walk with the other dogs, no weekend away with the camper, which our friends also like so much.

So in this forced quarantine of forced life for the whole family, including animals, what are the things to do with dogs?

in casa con i cani

5 things to do with dogs

Let us start by saying that they are tips born from Angela and that she has matured over many years of life with dogs and that we have developed together with an expert friend groomer and dog breeder Luigi de I Golden del Grrifondoro. Together they posed the problem of this long coexistence in narrow environments and the possibility of giving humans and dogs moments of leisure and activity. In addition, the relationship between man and dog creates moments of sharing and fun that serve to improve one’s life and achieve the necessary psycho-physical-emotional well-being in this period.

1) Grooming

Already in this period even the grooming centers are closed activities and therefore it is necessary that some operations become part of our daily lives.

  • Brush the dog with a comb if your dog has curly hair to remove the unwanted hair that forms. This at least more frequently than before.
  • Cleaning of eyes and ears with wipes, to prevent normal earwax formation from getting worse.
  • If you want to wash the dog, pay particular attention to drying; it is still cold and if the hair remains too wet, it could cause some health problems in older dogs, and in dogs with long and curly hair you would risk felting.
  • If in your dog the fur between the fingertips of the paws gets longer than you can, with the help of a small scissors shorten it slightly, to avoid that it slips on the floor of the house risking some small trauma. Be careful not to shorten it too much.
  • For those who are used to cleaning the dog’s legs when returning from walking, use wipes based on Te Tree Oil or wash them with water and very little soap, taking care to rinse very well. Soap residues in the long run could ruin the fingertips of the legs.

2) Playing

Il cane che gioca in famiglia

Gaming has always been an important component in a dog’s life: it stimulates his senses, helps him to distract himself and develop his mental activity; not to mention that it is also good for us humans that in this way we can relax from the stress that we are accumulating in this period. Furthermore, it is known that the interaction in the game between dog and owner reinforces the relationship and makes it truly special. But what games can we play in the home environment?

  • The game of looking for the prize in your hand: very simple to do, you take a croquette or better a piece of sausage, pass it several times and then close it in one hand holding both hands tightly closed to the dog. His instinct will lead him to repeatedly smell both hands and to hit one of the two with the muzzle or the paw. If it is the right one, you will reward him by letting him eat the bite, otherwise you will open your empty hand and repeat the exercise. You can do the same exercise using three white plastic cups.
  • Another game always based on the final prize, can be the search. Here too we recommend using a piece of frankfurter and creating a sort of scented path for the dog. You can hide his prize behind a door by slightly dirtying the floor (which will obviously be washed at the end) which leads to the hiding place. Once the prize is hidden, you can give it the seated command and then “search”. As your friend finds a bite, you can make the chosen hiding place more difficult.
  • Even playing hide and seek especially when done with children can be a lot of fun for the whole family. Obviously it depends on the home space you have, but usually hiding in the bathroom or behind the sofa can also be enough.

3) Massage

One of the things to do with the dog that you can certainly practice in this period, but not only is the massage to your dog. Manual touch helps our friend to acquire more positive and affable ways of behaving and it is well known that touch creates empathy. In addition, the most comfortable place for the dog to practice this exercise is certainly the one at home, so why not take advantage of it?

We underline, however, that the massage done by us does not replace the therapeutic one, which must absolutely be practiced by the veterinarian or specialized physiotherapists. Instead, it should be understood as a moment of exchange between the owner and his four-legged friend, which also serves to strengthen the relationship.

Lie the dog on its side and gently massage its back, abdomen and legs with deep stroking. Do not stop the massage by going from one part of his body to another, but create a sense of continuity to the movement. Your friend will totally relax and indeed he will show you with the movements of the legs which part of the body to touch.

4) Doga

Il doga relax per te e cani
il Doga @tio.ch

Do you remember the video that depopulated months ago on the web, of the owner who did yoga with his dog at home? here is the Stave

Yoga for dogs, or Doga is a discipline born in the States, widely practiced in Japan and has now also come here. It combines the benefits of an ancient discipline with free time to spend with our four-legged. In fact, we bring dogs practically everywhere with us: on the beach, for long walks, on vacation; so why not try doga, yoga for dogs? It may seem impossible to you, but it is not: he too can do it. In fact, specialized centers were also born and – for the more curious – there are books and videos on the web that explain what it is.

5) No kisses, but cuddles

Finally, a tip, more than things to do with the dog, in this period: take better care of hygiene and its cleanliness. We avoid getting kissed and every time we come back from the walk we clean their paws and wash our hands well.

Although the Ministry of Health website, in the section dedicated to frequently asked questions about Covid-19, has stated that:

.. currently there is no scientific evidence – it says – that pets, such as dogs and cats, have contracted the infection or can spread it. It is recommended to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or using alcoholic solutions after contact with animals.

it is good to remember that in this period our hygiene and that of our animal friends must be very scrupulous and careful. We take care of ours and their hygiene, and we take care of the family, are the simple rules that all veterinarians are advising us to have at home, nothing more.

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