Coronavirus lockdowns are challenging for all of us in many different ways. With gyms closed and restrictions on where we can go outdoors, a lot of people are finding it difficult to get enough exercise during lockdown.
And it’s not only humans who are finding it tough. Many emotional support animals are also finding that their exercise time is restricted during coronavirus. This is bad news for ESAs, because many ESA species require regular exercise in order to be healthy and happy. Dogs are the most popular ESAs, and most dog breeds need daily exercise.
So, how to make sure your emotional support dog gets enough exercise during lockdown? How can you tell if your ESA dog is well exercised and healthy? How can you exercise them in a safe way? And what precautions should you take when exercising ESAs during a coronavirus lockdown? Let’s investigate.
How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Getting Enough Exercise?
All dogs need exercise; most emotional support dogs need to exercise every single day. But not all ESA dogs have the same exercise requirements. It is crucial that you research how much exercise your breed of ESA dog requires. You can find this information out online or by asking your vet.
Without sufficient exercise, an ESA dog will gain weight and become lethargic and depressed. It is important that you monitor your ESA dog’s health in order and ensure that it is getting enough exercise. Is your ESA dog happy and full of life? Are they sleeping well at night? Do they have a healthy appetite? Is your dog energetic, lean, and healthy?
Can I Walk My Dog During The COVID-19 Pandemic?
In most areas of the country, you can still walk your emotional support dog during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the situation is changing regularly, depending on the progress of the virus.
Different areas of the country have different lockdown rules in place, and the rules in any given area can and will change as the situation develops. Always keep abreast of the latest lockdown rules in your area. And remember: even during strict lockdowns, there is always scope to provide your pet with some form of daily exercise.
What Precautions Should Pet Owners Take During COVID-19?
When exercising your ESA dog during the COVID-19 pandemic it is crucial that you take sensible precautions. The recommended precautions can differ depending on what area of the country you live in, but the basic rules apply in most areas: wear a face mask in public places, do not mix with other households, and practice social distancing.
How Can I Exercise My Dog Without Walking Them?
Many people are keen to find out how to exercise their ESA dog without walking them. In some areas of the country during strict lockdowns, even going outside to walk your ESA dog is advised against. Also, some people with underlying health conditions that make them vulnerable to infection may understandably be reluctant to go outside for any reason at all.
Luckily, there are several ways you can ensure your emotional support dog gets enough exercise without going for a walk. Here are some suggestions of ways to exercise your ESA dog during lockdown.
Take Them To The Countryside
If you are reluctant to walk your dog on urban streets or in public parks where you may be in close proximity to other people, taking your ESA to the countryside is a great alternative, if you’re allowed to travel under your lockdown rules. In the countryside you will be able to exercise your pet without needing to come into contact with any other people.
Play Hide And Seek With Them
ESA dogs with a playful nature really enjoy a game of hide and seek. Have your dog sit with another family member while you hide. Then call their name and let them come and find you! This is best played in a relatively large outdoor space such as a park, large garden, farm, or local forest.
Invite Another Dog Over To Play
Dogs love to play with other dogs, and play is an excellent form of exercise. If a friend or family member has a friendly dog, it’s a great idea to invite them over for a socially distanced gathering so your dogs can play together. Of course, this is only an option during periods when households are permitted some amount of mixing.
Let Them Forage For Dinner
If you have a reasonably large garden, a fun way of exercising your dog is to hide kibble and other treats such as bones, pieces of meat, or doggy biscuits around the garden, and then let your dog use their sense of smell to forage for their dinner. You can even bury treats and let your dog dig them up. This is a lot of fun for your ESA dog and a great form of exercise.
Take Them For A Swim
Swimming is an ideal form of exercise for ESA dogs. You can let your dog swim by taking them to the beach or to a river, or even having fun at home by buying a kiddy pool and setting it up in the backyard for them to splash in.
Get Them Some Fun Toys
There are plenty of great dog toys on the market. These allow your dog to have lots of fun and get lots of exercise playing in the garden or even indoors. Tether tugs, flirt poles, and tail teasers are three very popular toys that can provide a lot of enjoyment and exercise for ESA dogs during lockdown.