It’s easy to be overwhelmed with our current situation–all the scary news on TV and the Internet, the shelter in place orders and lock downs, the toilet paper shortages…it’s stressful and tedious! But if you’re lucky enough to share your life with a pet or two, take a moment to breathe, collect your thoughts, and remember that you have a precious life depending on you. Our pets may not understand the implications of a pandemic, but they can tell when their owners are behaving a little differently, and this will affect them in the long run.
Despite the craziness going on in the world, you can still maintain a sense of normalcy by caring for your pet as usual and making sure their needs are being met. Here’s how.
Nutrition and Exercise
Dogs and cats need a healthy, balanced diet and plenty of daily exercise to avoid weight gain, depression, and potentially destructive behavior brought on by sheer boredom. If you’re currently working from home, it should be a little easier for you to keep an eye on your pet’s habits and spend more quality time with them for good measure.
Some important tips to remember:
- Feed your pet on a schedule, and don’t leave food sitting out all day.
Avoid giving your pet handouts from the table. Table scraps can be fattening–and unsafe!
- Dole out treats responsibly–your pet doesn’t need to overindulge.
Make meal time more enriching for your pet with the aid of a food puzzle or some other food-related toy that requires your pet to do a little work (you can also do this with treats).
- Always contact your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s eating habits or would like to change their diet to something healthier. We’ll be happy to help you determine which food your pet should eat, how often and how much.
- Make a point to play with your kitty at least 20 minutes per day (if you have a cat). Fill your home with cardboard boxes if need be to enrich their environment.
- Take your dog out for daily walks (maintaining proper social distance, of course).
- If you have a fenced-in yard, take time out of the day to play with your dog. Use boxes, balls, and other safe props to make playtime more enjoyable for them.
- If possible, check out dog daycare facilities in the area to see if they’re accepting guests. Daycare and boarding are invaluable resources for pet parents currently working on the front lines to keep their communities safe, including nurses, doctors, sanitary workers, and truck drivers.
Heartworm, Flea and Tick Protection
Don’t forget to keep giving your pet their flea, tick and heartworm preventatives! The coronavirus has no effect on parasites, unfortunately, and even if your pet spends a lot of time indoors, they are still very much at risk for heartworm disease, fleas, and ticks! Stock up on all your pet’s pest preventatives (yep, cats need protection, too) and mark your calendar so you know when their next dose is due.
If you have questions, you can always call us at (732) 671-3110. Stay healthy, and be safe!