I am Tracy, 32 years and mom to 10 beautiful children. Yes you read that right TEN. 8 fur babies and 2 human ones (aged 5 and 2). Mine is a strong family of pets and babies.
Before marriage, I had 3 dogs of my own, then after marriage I adopted 5 dogs belonging to my husband and we lived together with all the love we had around us with our 8 fur babies. Then we had our 2 sons and our brood got bigger and happier. Pet dogs and newborn babies go really well together infact !
All our kids have grown up beautifully together and their bond is irreplaceable. Yes my dogs are my children too. I nurture them, feed them,mould them and love them all the same. Our regular day involves a busy routine of kids, school, work ,chores and making sure all our fur babies too have enough physical and mental stimulation.
Pets and babies make great companions in times of social distancing
Living in the times we are, sadly we get to hear so much news about owners abandoning their pets due the COVID – 19 pandemic. People all over seem to be in a state of mass hysteria and are abandoning pets for the fear of catching the virus. It needn’t be so.
I can imagine the world being chaotic due to the inevitable pandemic lockdown but I must say that it is only because of them that my family and me have remained sane and happy in times of panic.
Simple games we play at home take on a whole new aspect when one of our pets decides she is getting bored and runs away with the plush toy and hides away with it. Its a chase around the house and a scene straight out of a circus. Everyday moments like these bring so much of joy to us, our 2 boys and the 8 canines we have as a family ! Each single day right now is no different from what it was before the Corona Virus scare.
Friends were naturally concerned for our safety and health in recent times, especially after BMC released posters suggesting to keep a distance with pet and stray animals. How do we plan to manage the situation for the next few weeks as there have been rumours making the rounds that this virus is transferred from dogs to humans. And so there has been a sudden increase in abandoning pets on the streets. However, according to WHO(World Health Organization), there is no proof that a pet or a stray animal can transmit COVID 19 which is mainly spread through droplets produced by an infected person’s cough or sneezes. If you have a pet, simply clean your hands frequently and thoroughly to avoid any other infection. To learn more you can check out WHO’s Q & A on COVID 19
Our pets have no survival instincts to survive on the streets or to fend for themselves. So being a well informed and responsible pet owner, please do not abandon your pets, you once called babies.
Your life while social distancing will be much better and happier with your fur babies around. This will also be instilling values of compassion and kindness in your little ones. I can personally vouch for that !
From my personal experience, here are some simple suggestions to keep your pet occupied in times of a lockdown
- Take your dog out for at least 2 slightly longer walks or walk 5-8 times around your building compound depending on your area. Early mornings are a great time for walks as you will avoid any kind of crowds but always make the rounds brisk and continuous. No leisurely walks to sniff every corner. Let your pet relieve itself and then just walk.
- Do not let your dog pick up anything from the ground and into your house.
- Keep a bucket of dettol/ Savalon mixed with water or even sanitizing wipes if you have handy. As soon as you enter wipe her under paws or dip their paws in the prepared solutions.( Be aware that Dettol will irritate your pooch’s gentle skin so be frugal with it )
- I know we love our dogs a lot but maintain personal hygiene given the situation. Do not allow your pets to lick your face or hands. Wash your hands as much as possible.
- Keep in mind your dog is not getting the exercise his body needs so cut down a bit on meal quantity if required. Or else you are going to have an obese dog with a lot of health issues.
- You can play a game of fetch in the house or passage outside to keep your dog physically stimulated. Be careful of the slippery spaces in your house though.
- Certainly do not abandon your babies because of this virus or any other health concern. A quick call with your pets vet will get you clarity on how best to tackle it. Besides, your children are learning from you.
Do you have a baby smaller than 2 years and want to improve your infant’s immunity against infections and illness? Read our post here on how you can protect your baby from Coronavirus and other infections.
Some more things to do with your pet !
Our pets, including dogs are the happiest right now during the lockdown as they have you for us the whole day, without waiting for you to come home. Spend time with your family which includes your pets. Love them now because trust me, we have very little time with them to be a part of our lives. And to a dog you are his whole life. Make it count.
- Tracy Briggs owns and manages The Delriques Canine Institute based in Mumbai