While we all adore our pets, our busy lives mean that sometimes we don’t give them the love and attention they deserve. So why not make COVID-19 the ‘pawfect’ excuse to care for your pet in the best way possible.
Pets give us their unconditional love every day, which means they deserve a cuddle or a friendly scratch in return. Not into smooching your pooch or giving your cat kisses? That’s okay. You can simply make sure you’re doing everything you can to ensure your fur pal is well cared for now and in the future.
8 ways to care for your pet during COVID-19
There are many wonderful ways to care for your pet amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Ensure you have the essentials
No, we’re definitely not advocating stockpiling (especially not toilet paper!) but it is important to make sure you have your pet necessities. You might want to consider having enough medicine (if your pet requires it), preventative treatments, food, plus other pet care products to last the next few months.
If you tend to buy preventative health treatments (such as flea, tick and worming products) online, make sure you have reminders set ahead of time to ensure you don’t run out. Don’t forget, with a growing number of people now shopping online there may be delays in delivery. As such, don’t leave ordering subsequent supplies until the last minute.
2. Factor exercise into your daily routine
Our fur pals need and love regular exercise. Even if your pet has a condition that means he or she can’t go for long walks or runs on the beach, a small amount of physical activity is important. Indeed, caring for an older pet might involve simply throwing the ball in the backyard a few times a day. However, it’s important to continue to do this for them.
If you’re practicing self-isolation, this doesn’t mean Fido has to miss out on daily exercise. There are loads of fun games you can play with your dog or cat to keep them fit, active and healthy — without stepping foot outdoors.
Try hide-and-seek with treats or your pet’s favourite toy. Use the light on your mobile phone, sit back and watch your kitty pounce around the living room. Make your own doggy agility course with pillows, balls, string and boxes (you might need some imagination here!). There are so many fun and quirky ways to keep your pet moving and his or her fitness in check.
Find out more about exercising your dog without leaving the house.
3. Maintain your pet’s proper diet
Feeding your pet a healthy, nutritious diet is the perfect way to care for your pet. Changes to their usual diet could lead to tummy upsets or even cause excess weight gain, so stick to what they know and love.
Certainly, being cooped up indoors could lead you to comfort eat. Be mindful that if you start eating snacks to fill the time or break the boredom, the chances are you’re going to also give titbits to your pet. (Oh those puppy dog eyes are hard to resist!)
What’s more, if you’re thinking up creative games to play indoors with your pet, try not to involve treats in every activity.
4. Practice clean living
While there’s no evidence to suggest that pets can contract or transfer COVID-19, it’s important to practice good hygiene.
Be sure to wash your hands before and after contact with your pet, its food or any other supplies. Also, if you’re going to be spending extra time indoors with your pet, it pays to keep your house neat and tidy. Keep pet dander (this can cause allergies) to a minimum by vacuuming regularly and disinfect floors and surfaces to keep germs and bacteria at bay.
A clean environment is good for both you and your pet, particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
5. Maintain regular grooming
If you have your pet clipped or groomed frequently, you don’t want their pampering to fall by the wayside. Regular grooming is a great way to care for your pet and avoid potential health problems.
You might not have all the high-tech gear that a groomer does, but you can still bath your dog to keep them clean and odour-free. Don’t have dog shampoo? Don’t worry, just opt for a gentle cleansing agent; ideally, one that’s free from chemicals. Use it sparingly and make sure you rinse it out well.
Don’t forget to brush Fido daily to help keep hair loss to a minimum and enjoying some one-on-one time with your furry friend. Plus, if you notice your dog’s breath smells less than fresh, use a spare toothbrush to help rid his or her teeth of plaque.
6. Access the expert advice you need
At present, vets most vets remain open. So if you’re worried or at all concerned about the health of your pet you can call your local vet for an appointment.
However, if you’re in self-isolation there are other options to ensure you can still care for your pet. Get in touch with your local vet as they might now be providing remote consults or may be willing to discuss your concerns over the phone. Alternatively, PETStock and Vetchat offer real-time vet consultations via text or video call.
These services help ensure that all pet parents can look after the health and safety of their purring pal or barking buddy during these unusual circumstances.
7. Have a COVID-19 contingency plan
So, worst-case scenario — you contract coronavirus. What then? Having an emergency plan is part and parcel of caring for your pet. Your plan should specify who will care for your pet should you become ill. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who can assist with the short-term care of your furry friend? Just make sure you discuss this with them first!
8. Support your own wellbeing
Your pet needs you, so it’s important you take good care of yourself. Try to stick to a regular routine that involves waking up at the same time every morning and going to bed at a consistent time.
Eat healthy meals, limit snacking (or choose nutritious snacks) and be strict with yourself about fitting some daily exercise into your regime.
We all know stress is bad for human health, so stay calm and make a habit of practicing anxiety-reducing exercises. It could be yoga, meditation or even deep breathing. Even better, spend some quality time with your pet. Our beloved pets are great stress busters!
How will you care for your pet during these current times?
If you enjoyed reading this article, check out these related posts
- Your guide to dog walking while social distancing
- How to put your dog on a diet
- How to put your cat on a diet