Your pet needs you more than you'd imagine as we endure one of the hardest times in human history. Help them get through quarantine in these simple ways.
As we humans brace one of the hardest times in the history of human evolution, there are some more who are in this with us—our pets. With several countries imposing a lockdown in the public interest and for safety as a measure to contain the spread of the merciless COVID-19, our routines have sure gone for a toss. Pet care, at that, one the most integral parts of many of our daily routines, too, are withstanding the situation.
The effect is dual-ended, affecting both us and our pets. From restricted exercise regimens, sourcing pet food, poop dilemmas, distress caused by pet owners’ readjustments to simply having people around all the time—pets are equally facing the plight of quarantine. Today, we list down for you ways you can ease this time for you and your pet. After all, let’s not forget we (yes, even pets) are all together in this!
Note: Before we get into the ways, please be known that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.), World Health Organization (W.H.O.), and other experts are in agreement that there are no meaningful signs that our pets can get this virus or spread it. So continue your love, care, and responsibility towards them as you would otherwise. If not the most, they really do need all of it right now!
While we are allowed to step out to procure daily essentials, make the most of it to do so for your pets’ essentials as well. Some necessities that you must take care of: their usual pet food, speciality diet foods, alternatives/substitutes of the same, toilet paper rolls, basic hygiene must-haves like soap and shampoos, handy medicines in case fleas, ticks or heartworms, and prescription medication if any. A new toy, if easily available, can be a great novelty as well.
In a lockdown, exercise regimen can especially be one of the worst-hit factors of a daily routine for pets. Furthermore, spaces like compact flats can really restrict your pet’s (more so of pet dogs) movement causing various conditions like distressed energy, lethargy, hypersensitivity, and even depression. The key to controlling these conditions is ensuring that exercise continues. Early mornings and late nights are good times to take your pet out for a quick walk. Take the stairs for a little more cardio!
With restricted movement and the need to relieve themselves indoors, pets, especially pet dogs again, can have a tough time when it comes to poop business. The situation can further amplify if your pet dog is used to walking several times of the day in order to attend nature’s call. A great way to overcome this is by readying your pet for the same as you would otherwise, same time, same way of putting the leash on, using the same commands, and ever wearing your shoes and walking inside the house, thereby creating a placebo effect. You can then fix a spot in your house for this everyday business.
Keeping Busy Indoors
As many of us are working from homes, with the additional responsibility of house cleaning and of a plethora of online entertainment for us to consume – we have plenty of ways to keep busy, but you need to consider your pets too. Come up with innovative ways to use their old toys. If you step out, get some new toys like chews and puzzles that will keep them mentally busy for longer. Look up online for games that you can play with them. Experts also suggest using feeding toys to make their mealtimes more enriching. In cases you’re unsure of, seek the help of a pet trainer/behaviourist for expert advice.
Stay in Touch With Vets
Should your pet be on prescription medication, you need to stock up on the same as previously mentioned. In case there is the unavailability of a specific medication, reach out to your pet’s vet for a suitable alternative. Refrain from buying alternatives without your vet’s approval. Many veterinary services are also making online services via various methods like video calls obtainable. If you see any signs of your abnormal or new patterns in your pet, get in touch with your pet’s vet at the earliest.
Last but not least, remember your feelings will be perceived by your pet – anxiety, fear, distress, calm, relief – so make sure to have the right mindset yourself. The change in the daily regimen COULD affect them to react differently and you being there for them with all your love and care can make all the difference. If nothing, think of this time as some much-needed TLC with your pet, a good timeout where you bond and simply make each other’s lives better. The best is, indeed, yet to come!