How to keep your dog occupied if you have Covid
Pets have been providing companionship through the isolating Covid pandemic and there was a time when taking the dog for a walk was one of the only occasions people left the house.
It can be difficult to keep a dog occupied when they are unable to go for a walk because their owner has Covid-19 and they can often get wound up and destructive when they haven’t had a walk.
Catherine Magill from St Columb’s Animal Rescue and Rehoming (SCARR) gave some tips on how to exercise dogs without leaving the house.
She said: “There are great dog walkers in the city and doggy daycares who can take the dog if you’re working long hours so you’re coming home to a dog who is exercised and happy and isn’t stressed out. I’m not sure if a dog walker would want to take a dog out if there’s Covid in the house because it can carry on their fur and could be transmittable but there are plenty of other ways to tire them out at home.
“I would say to do games and mental training with the dogs to try burn off the energy using their brain instead of walking them. A lot of things, like Kong toys, you could put your dinner in that instead of in a bowl. That means they have to work for their dinner and it will take them a bit longer to eat. Feeding toys in general are great. Long lasting chews are good for dogs who love to chew as well as toys and things from the pet shop.
“Basic obedience and trick training can also be great for tiring a dog out. Obvioulsy, if you have a garden, they can play in the garden and have some games out there to get some fresh air too.
“It isn’t easy to do, though. One of my foster dogs had kennel cough, which is highly contagous, so I had to quarentine him for three or four weeks and that was very hard but it is do-able.
“It’s especailly tough when they’re young and energetic but being creative with mealtimes, training and maybe bying new toys online as well as chews and toys that will last ages is the best way to keep them occupied.”
Catherine meanwhile also detailed some of the pets waiting for homes in SCARR now:
“5 year old Alfie is available for adoption. He was recently adopted but returned for being too vocal! He will bark at any strange or sudden noises, and when he sees any animals on the TV “Alfie is a typical westie, full of mischief and energy and just loves his walks and playtime. While he is an active busy boy, he has poor confirmation on all his legs which gives him a strange gait but doesn’t hold him back. He was X-rayed at our vets and it has been determined that surgery would not be an option to help with this, but veterinary supplements and daily pain relief will help with existing arthritis and delay the onset of more severe disease as he ages. “We are looking for a home with westie experience for Alfie. He could live with children 8 years plus. He is housetrained, neutered, chipped and vaccinated. He is also worm and flea treated to date. “He is in foster in Derry”
“Plum needs a quiet home with patient and understanding owners. We really think she would be best as an only cat where she will have the opportunity to flourish and relax. She is spayed, chipped, fully vaccinated and litter trained.”
“Patch is 12 but no one can believe his age as he is so lively and full of fun, very healthy for his age too. He is a Pomeranian crossed with a poodle so his coat will need regular grooming and can easily become matted. He is a very friendly boy who loves his walks and is great on and off lead.
“Patch is fine around other dogs although he doesn’t like them to go near his food or disturb him when he’s sleeping. He can’t live with cats because he loves to chase them. This wee man is chipped, vaccinated and worm and flea treated to date. He is also house trained.”
“Leo is a gorgeous four-month old Collie cross terrier. He was a little timid initially but has really come out of his shell with the help of his foster sisters so will need a home with another settled dog to give him confidence. Leo is a mix of two active breeds so he will need an active family who will be committed to training and socialising him as he is still very young. He is vet checked, chipped, vaccinated, worm and flea treated to date. He will need to come back to our vets for neutering when he is old enough.
“ Leo is in foster in Omagh and meet and greets will be carried out there.”
To inquire about these pets contact SCARR at [email protected]