Punjabis show more affection to their dogs than their spouses.
Have you ever caught yourself petting your partner like you would pet an animal? But if you’re about to give your spouse a belly rub; STOP
Your romantic life might be in serious jeopardy.
Affection and the Indian psyche have never seen eye to eye.
From lack of public display of affection (PDA) to instinctively folding hands v/s shaking them (which we claim as a victory in the COVID-19 times). The weird semi pairi-paena (more like a ‘gode nu hath launa) to the inability to say ‘I love you’ to most people; we have had weird social, cultural and safety barriers to showing affection.
But not your pets.
For the love of dog, show him affection.
In these times of lock-down and spending prolonged extended time with your pet while he is unable to go for long walks; what can we do to keep the dog happy?
Dogs become one dimensional when they have to stay at home and not go for daily walks. You see, the walk around the block to a dog is like reading the daily newspaper:
-Does this scent belong to an intruder animal. Is it even dog or cat pee?
-Which animal not from my gang came into my territory?
-The brown stray down the road still has a bad stomach.
-Why is the guard who always says hi to me not on duty this morning?
-Has the milkman left? Why isn’t the postman around anymore?
-Which neighbourhood animal is on heat?
You take that away from an animal and you’re taking away their only source of entertainment because the TV doesn’t mean much to them; nor does the food take more than 30 seconds to devour. Take 18 hours out of the 24 hours for napping and the 15 minutes of attention the owners give to them in a day, you still have a lot of free time left to do nothing.
Or to whine and sulk.
Or to be intrusive, boorish, assertive and maybe destructive.
Screw the “Good Boy”.
Here are a few things we can do to keep our pets happy during lock-down.
- Create a game for him which rewards him (with treats) to use his mind & efforts.
-A rotating tube which dispenses treats by spinning. (specially if you are good at making items with your hands)
-A ball on a pole/ tree that one (and preferably 2 or 3) dog can play with.
-A kong toy with treats tricking out or peanut butter pasted on the inside.
2) If you have a treadmill at home, you can teach your dog to use it.
3) Teach your dog a new trick. You have the time and with a little help from you-tube you can teach him a new trick. Dos love learning new tricks with positive reinforcement and treats. They are motivated by;
-Pleasing the owner (most dogs learn new tricks because of the praise & joy
4) Consider getting a friend for your pet. This can be done in one of the following ways
-A friend’s dog for extended play-dates.
-A stray friend- If your dog loves a stray dog while they walk, consider bringing them in and allowing them to play in your yard. Dogs do not carry the COVID-19 virus and the dog would love to go back on the street once he is done because all animals love their freedom more than anything else.
-Foster a sick, injured or orphaned puppy. Most dogs allow a puppy into their household and take them under their wing. The new dog needs to be introduced to your pet in the right manner (a neutral turf for meeting, walk the animals together, monitor)
-Adopting another animal. This might be the best time to adopt another animals because you can monitor their success into your home. Most animal love growing up with other animals.
5) Notice 5 Characteristics in your dog that you might have missed on account of staying busy (ok to do with your spouse and children too).
6) Give your dog the time of your life by massaging it.
Imagine never being able to stick your finger or a q-tip in your ear, or getting a facial, or wring your hands. There are some advantages evolution has given due to having opposable thumbs. Now use them to help a brother out.
You will bond with your animal in an amazing way if you dip into some baby oil and massage the dog. You can get him to any trick if he knows that the reward is a massage.
It’s the most amazing couple therapy that you and your dog will get and if you do it with your spouse helping you, it will be the best couples therapy all of you get.
When you decided to get get married to your spouse you took away their chance of getting romantic affection from most people except you. The COVID-19 has taken away their chance of showing affection to family and friends (not that we do a stellar job of it to begin with).
With almost all affection being taken away from your spouse, it is YOUR JOB and your RESPONSIBILITY to show them affection.
By taking an animal away from its family and the chance of it getting affection from another human, it is not your JOB and RESPONSIBILITY to show it affection. And keep it happy and healthy.
A happy dog is a healthy dog. Much like with spouses; it leads to a healthy relationship.