It has been a while since we last posted our weekly blog. We have been very busy with packing and moving. As you already know from our previous blogs, Teddy has a collapsed trachea and he is not able to fly, so we decided to drive all the way through the Europe to Turkey. As timing wise we were so lucky that we left at the beginning of March when the virus wasn’t spread in UK. It was a long journey but our little potato pug handled it very well and is now very happy in our new home. We are going to write more about it in our next week’s blog.
Recently the whole planet has been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, and we made this week’s blog with the purpose of helping our readers and their furry friends passing this hard period of time a little bit easier. Here are some few tips about what you can do during the outbreak.
1. Get enough supplies for you and for your dogs in case you be required to say at home. It is important to plan about what your pets need. Make sure you have enough food, treats, cleaning products for them. In case your pet requires regular medication like Teddy stock it at home. Although our dogs are trained to do their jobs outside, we would recommend you to buy pee pads, just in case. As none of us know how long the Covid-19 is going to last and how bad it can still get it is important to supply the basics.
2. Toys and dog activity strategy games. Dogs love toys and they will spend a good amount of time playing with them. Instead of only keeping it just fun you can also improve your dogs’ intelligence and keep them active by getting them an activity game board. These activity boards have different difficulty levels. If your dog has never used one, we would suggest to start with a low-level difficulty and first to show your dog how it is being used. That way your dog can learn how to get the treats and when you decide your dog is ready for the next difficulty, he can use his knowledge and improve more. Teddy has been playing with these since he was a puppy. When he first started it reminded me of a toddler trying to find the right shaped hole in order to put his plastic shapes into the box. It took him a while until he learnt however he made it up to the difficulty three now and he still enjoys playing with it even without the treats. His favourite brand is Trixie which you can easily find online.
3. Staying healthy is really important and training every day for half an hour should be yours and your dog’s daily routine. You can go for a walk by taking all the precautions like wearing a mask and putting on gloves. About your dog we would suggest you to refuse politely anyone who wants to pet your dog as the virus can stick to your pet’s coat and can stay active there for a while. We would also recommend not to let your pet to play with other dogs as we mentioned before it can stick from the other dog’s coat to yours and unfortunately, we have to take every precaution to stay safe.
You can involve your dog to your training. Teddy is more than happy to help. We use Teddy as a dumbbell for squats which he really enjoys.
He is a speedy potato when it comes to running but he gets tired very easily and then there is Doga which is Yoga which involves your dog’s participation. But Teddy is not a big fan of that. You can also meditate with your dog, take your mind away from all the negative things around you, of course if you could ignore the snoring coming from your dog because Teddy’s understanding from meditation is sleeping and snoring.
You can also keep your pet active by teaching your dog a few games, like Hide and Seek, Hide and Find Treats, Thug of War. Teddy is very good at Hide and Seek and is an expert in hiding. But finding him is not enough, you have to touch to his paw. Otherwise he refuses to come out and still thinks he is hiding. As for Hide and Find Treats, hide few treats around the house in easy to reach spots and let them find it. Teddy doesn`t excel at this game.
4. Improve your mental state by doing the things which you always wanted to do but never found the time. We all had busy lives before the virus came out and were mostly distracted by other things. This is your opportunity to do something for yourself. But whatever you choose to do involve your dog as well. Your improved mood will improve your dog’s mood, too.
5. Watch movies and cartoons with your dogs on TV. They are more excited if you choose one which includes dogs and other animals and usually, they are very engaged with what is happening on the screen. Here is a list with Teddy`s favourites: Marley & Me, A Dog’s Purpose, The Secret life of Pets, Dog Days, Tom & Jerry.
So, get your popcorn and be ready for an enjoyable evening.
6. Once a week cook something healthy for your dogs, a homemade meal or a treat. They will be very excited to try something new. Last week we cooked chicken & rice with carrots and peas for him. We cut the carrots very tiny and mashed the peas and mixed everything together as he hates vegetables and if he notices, he would spit them out. Try and maintain the balance. While cooking once in a while for your dog is good if you choose to do that more often you might end up with a spoilt dog that will refuse to eat its own dog food.
7. Now that you are spending a good amount of time at home, your dog would want to make the most out of it. However, as you need your own time at home and your dog continuously wanting to play with you, might make you exhausted. Start to teach your dog that it is your own time. This will also prevent them from having separation anxiety when everything goes back to normal.
In our home everyone has their own time, even Teddy. My girlfriend works from home and it was very difficult to work when Teddy continuously wanted to play with her when he was growing up so she taught him “Mammy Time”. Whenever she has to do some work, she would tell him the words and that after she finishes, she would play with him and that he should wait. Once he hears “Mammy Time” he would go and play by himself. He learnt that so perfectly, now when he needs his own private time like enjoying his chewie on the sofa or wanting to play with his favourite toy by himself, he just tells us in his own way that it is “Teddy time”.
8. Pamper and groom your dog. Now that all the grooming shops are closed it is your duty to wash, brush and take care of your little furry friends. Don’t forget to cut your pets nails as well. It is good to have a routine.
Since Teddy was a puppy, we have a 10-20 minutes hug time in the mornings. It starts with a hug but it is all about checking and cleaning him. We wipe his eyes, his wrinkles, brush his teeth and whenever he needs something extra like his ears cleaned or brushed.
Once a week he receives a body massage from Mammy which includes a back and head massage, tummy rubs and a paw wax massage. Teddy loves it. If you want to do something special for your dogs you might want to give them a massage.
9. The most important thing is giving them lots of LOVE. As much as it is hard for you to be isolated it is the same for your pets. We should take this time as an opportunity to create stronger bonds with each other and our dogs, became more creative and come out of this situation with an improved version of ourselves.
We also asked few of Teddy`s friends what are they doing during the quarantine. Let`s hear what they have to say:
Mr Billy the French Bulldog: “I love playing with my balloon. I can do that for hours. Daddy also takes me out for long walkies in the park and wears something to cover his mouth which does not make sense to me.”
Sheri the English Springer Spaniel: “I am a very active girl and I don’t understand why I can’t go out more often as I used to. I am so happy that my daddy is working from home. We play a lot. I also have a very well-planned snack schedule. I never miss one because I love food.
We go for walkies in the park or by the docks. Daddy is always wearing his mask and gloves.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s blog. Please embrace social distancing, stay at home as much as possible and wear protective equipment when outside. Everyone matters, humans and dogs. Big thanks to our friends Billy and Sheri for taking the time to write to us. Take care & keep safe
Teddy and The Crew