We’ve all had to adapt to the change in our routine and this includes the four-legged members of the house too. The lockdown has not been easy on the ones with wagging tails and pointed ears, as everything around their world too, has changed.
Dr. Anand, HOVS (Head of Veterinary Services) at Wiggles.in and an expert canine behaviorist shares his insights on pet behavioral changes that he has witnessed during the lockdown.
70% of behavior consultations in the past three months have had a pet who got used to seeing only their family members and had an area of barely 1200 to 1300sq.ft to call home.
Due to the lockdown restrictions, pets have started thinking that these few humans and their little home is their whole world.
Pets are generally getting disturbed and wary if an unknown person, a distant relative, a maid, or a worker comes home. The dogs, in particular, start barking and don’t stop until the person leaves the house.
Issues of irritation and stubbornness stem from the fact that now there is not enough utilization of pent-up energy within the pets. This has led to multiple issues:
Some of the common symptoms he has witnessed in dogs during the lockdown are:
- Unprovocative playful/powerful bites
- Unnecessary howling
- Non-disciplined behavior
- Not obeying usual orders
- Fussy eating
- Separation anxiety
- Dominating over each member of the family
- Losing interest in regular toys
However, this unruly behavior can be corrected. Dr Anand suggests the following tips and tricks to help your pets utilize their energy and keep them happy and healthy even during the lockdown.
Even though the lockdown has imposed restrictions on movement, you can walk your dog in your society or during the few hours you are allowed to step outside. Take your pets for early morning and late evening walks for at least 30 to 45 minutes. The purpose of this walk is not just defecation but also to make them aware of public places. Let your dog smell the new smells, get used to traffic passing by, other pets, new people and the surrounding premises. It is also recommended to change the route and direction every day, as it makes a huge difference.
Change the flavor, not the food
Don't change your dog’s diet plan, just change flavors. You can add a few grams of seasonal fruits to make their diet more interesting and enjoyable. Flavor change should be gradual and not sudden. Talk to your vet before you introduce any new food or ingredients into their diet. Try and add more water content to their daily food and ensure that they are always hydrated.
Make sets of their toys
Consider dividing your dog’s toys in three to four sets. Change this set everyday. This helps in keeping them interested in their toys and keeps boredom at bay.
Discipline is important
We know how adorable our fur babies can be, but sometimes we need to be strict for disciplinary reasons. It is recommended to not use sentences but only words in a high pitch for giving commands. ‘Good’ and ‘No’ are the most important words to use.
Follow summer care tips
Summers can be really harsh on your pet and this season requires you to pay extra care and attention to your pooch. Follow summer care tips for pets and include butter milk and curd rice in their diet without fail.
At night, let your pet choose where they would prefer to sleep. Make sure that they have their own cozy bed to sleep in as it’s better to avoid having them sleeping in your bed.
Practice love and discipline
A combination of a lot of gentle handling and discipline can keep your pet physically and psychologically healthy.
Speak to an expert
If you feel like the situation is getting out of hand and you need a professional to step in, opt for an online video consultation with a pet behaviorist who can help you in the comfort of your home.
Play with them
Last but not the least, remember to cherish your life with your pets. Engage in fun indoor activities with your pets, nullify the negative energy around, beat your stress through your pets, this will help you both to be happy and healthy.
If you are able to access a swimming pool or a pet boarding that has swimming packages, enroll your pet into one. Swimming is a great exercise for pets in general to burn pent-up energy. It also works as a great stress buster and your pets are sure to love their sessions in the pool.
Remember that you are not alone in this crisis, the virus has brought new challenges and troubles for our pets too. Spend more time with your pets and help each other to be happy and healthy.
For anything else, our team of experts is just a call away. Call us on
+91 84316 20000 for any pet-related queries.