During the current global health crisis, many of us are in a situation where we are quarantined or sheltering in place with our pets. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 68 percent of American households own some sort of pet. This equates to about 85 million families in the United States. Many of us are facing stressful challenges right now that we never imagined. We have put together a list of tips to help you get through these difficult times in regards to pet care.
Keep Adequate Supplies
We are being urged and in many areas required to stay at home except for getting essential food and medical supplies. Running to the grocery store or pet store for an item or two is not a good idea. Every time we go out in public we are susceptible to coming in contact with the virus. So it is important to make sure you have an adequate supply of all your pet supply needs. There are different online services too that can deliver pet supplies right to your door. This does not mean there is a need to hoard items. However, make sure you have a 2-4 week supply of food and treats, and at minimum 30 day supply of medicine and supplements.
Remember to Exercise
Come up with stimulating ways to get some exercise every day. There are many indoor activities like playing fetch or keep a way you can do with your pet. Hiding treats or encouraging pet toy play are also fun ways to get your pooch moving. Exercise not only stimulates the immune system, but it is also a healthy way to break the tension and distract yourself from constant worries. Our pets often mirror the emotions we have and are sensitive to the energy we put out. Exercise routinely every day by making time for a getting physical break.
Many dogs need to go outside to get a bathroom break multiple times a day. If you live in an apartment complex or condo this can be a challenge because you are getting exposed to germs in elevators and by living in close proximity to others. Consider making an indoor or patio spot that can be used for a pet bathroom. Keeping a stash of pee pads in the house might be a good idea if you and your dog don’t want to go outdoors as frequently. If you and your pet are used to walking the neighborhood, you may consider using an area of your yard to designate as a bathroom spot, too. However, if you do still take your pet on walks practice proper social distancing, avoid contact with other pets and people, and take your walks during times of less outdoor activity.
Keep Extra Clean
It is probably a good idea to give your pets a bath with more frequency during this time. While there are mixed reports on whether pets can contract the COVID-19 (many reports say that they can not, but there have also been reports of dogs carrying it). Either way viruses can be present on their fur, and can spread from person to person through contact. Warm soapy water deactivates viruses and bacteria. This will cut down on the chance of spreading diseases and illnesses. After petting your pet wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water for at minimum 20 seconds.
During times of boredom from being cooped up in the house people and animals too tend to overeat. When we are stressed we often turn to food for comfort and eat more to cope with our anxiety. According to the APPA, a pet obesity prevention survey found that over half of cats and dogs are considered overweight or obese, which can lead to joint and health problems.
Follow a Routine
While we are at home more now as of lately (to our pets delight), pets find comfort in routine behavior. Develop some new routines and set a schedule that will be followed with consistency. Bathroom times, feeding times, rest times, play and activity times. By using a routine your pet will get used to this behavior, find comfort in it and look forward to activities.
Have a Plan
Have a backup or contingency plan. In the event of an emergency, if you are unable to care for your pet identify someone who can just in case you are unable to. Make sure to let that person know of any special care your pet requires. In consideration of medications, you should provide detailed and specific directions about dosage and administration.
Self Isolate If You Are Sick
If you do test positive for COVID-19, or have symptoms and suspect you may be infected the CDC recommends self-isolating from others including your pets. In the event of an emergency, and if you are unable to find someone to care for your pet, continue providing care yourself, but with limited contact with them. Try not to pet them but, if you must, wash your hands both before and after. Do not kiss or snuggle with them if you are infected, and wear a face mask around them. Once you feel better and the quarantine has passed, give your pet extra love and snuggles to make up for the time apart.
Remember to stay calm – our pets observe us and easily pick up on nervous energy. We do not need to overstress which may cause our pets to behave erratically. This will only compound anxieties. Remember by being prepared, making rational decisions, staying calm and breathing deeply we are far more likely to get through difficult times. Take some calm time to communicate with your pet how much you love and care for them and appreciate them in your life. This activity is rewarding for both you and your unconditionally ever-loving companion.
At Flexpet, we care about you and your pets. We want to help you keep them as healthy as possible. We have a fantastic and knowledgeable customer care team available to answer any of your questions about our products and how they may help your four-legged friend. Our Flexpet joint care supplement is highly reviewed and is made in the USA from human grade US ingredients. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, or by phone at 1-800-505-0575.