When everyone stays indoors during quarantine waiting for the Coronavirus curve to flatten, our pets often carry the lion’s share of the burden of restricted mobility brought about by this crisis. It’s not simple for everyone to be locked inside, especially your four-legged mates.
Often pet owners report that their dogs or cats lack appetite and seem to have become lethargic in such a situation. It is not just their physical health and welfare, but anxiety in pets may also develop if they stay indoors for unsociable hours with little or no exercise.
Lack of physical exercise will also influence their metabolic processes, contributing to a lack of appetite and a weak immune system.
Consequently, taking good care of your fluffy and furry little mates is indeed necessary, and here is how you can effectively make the time of self-isolation more manageable for your pets.
Keep Them Physically And Emotionally Involved
During the lockdown, it is not recommended to take your dogs out for a walk. This will eventually impact overall well-being as it could render dogs vulnerable to anxiety and depression, due to being locked indoors for too long.
Although you can’t take pets out for walks, you should still look for creative ways of keeping your dog happy during lockdown. ‘Hide and catch’ is one such exercise that can keep your pets occupied. Allocate an hour to play games with your pets and also make good use of the resources available. For instance, if your place has a staircase, staircase walking may be an agreeable workout for both pets and pet parents.
Make Sure They Have Enough Sleep
Adult dogs sleep on average about 12 to 16 hours throughout the day, and puppies require much more. For most of the day, most pets will nap whenever their owners are either at work or school. Your continuous movement around the house throughout the lockdown points to the fact that many pets don’t get the relaxation they want. A peaceful place where video calls or kids won’t bother them will assist your pets in catching up with their usual sleeping routines.
Maintain Proper Hygiene
Maintaining hygiene is one big issue affecting several pet owners today. Since pets have to remain indoors, they have limited choices for relief, particularly for those living in apartments. Poop should be appropriately disposed of, as it might contain germs and parasites such as hookworm, roundworms, etc.
Having litter bags available, as well as scooping up poops as soon as your pet relieves himself is highly encouraged. Secure additional litter bags sufficient for the entire duration of the lockdown. And, if you have to send your dog outside to have his poo, do that at hours when they are least likely to meet any other human beings.
Stimulate Them Mentally
Your dog must be provided with mental stimulation now, as it offers them something else to do while enriching their lives at the same time. Mental stimuli can also help lessen anxiousness and repetitive habits, like chewing – consider puzzles, trick-training food, or items. Pet owners can now know more about pet training than ever before, thanks to the magic of the internet.
Another best choice for mental stimulation is scatter-feeding. You can do this by simply spreading some of your dog’s dry food or little nibbles along the floor while allowing your pets to hoover them up. Motivating your pets to use their nose adds a little bit of fun to dinner time.
Have A Pet Emergency Kit
The spread of the highly contagious Coronavirus has led to challenging times, but you never really know when your pet could run into an emergency. Just as you’ve got the option of quick help for yourself, have equipment prepared for your pets as well.
In addition to a 30-day food supply, make sure your pet’s emergency kit has the following items — thermometer, bandages, cloth, scissors, a needleless syringe to manage oral medication, fever-reducing medications, etc. Do keep deworming medications ready as you don’t really know how long the lockdown would last. Stay in contact with your vet, and do not hesitate to seek help if you see the smallest sign of any disease.
Practice Food Rationing
Tough times warrant tough initiatives. So, keeping a tight watch on the pet food you have in stock is critical. Since you’re almost always going to be with your pet, you may be tempted to feed him extra to keep him satisfied. Stop doing this because the pet is still lacking physical exercise, so it’s sensible not to add extra calories to their diet until the lockdown is over.
Offer Your Pets A Safe Space
Primarily, most pets should have a comfortable spot to indulge and relax in the house whenever they need some alone time. This safe space could be a spare room, toilet, utility space, or even a couch placed well into the corner underneath a table.
For certain dogs, crates are ideal alternatives and may become their intimate space with a careful and especially cautious introduction. Add some fun toys and maybe something to chew or any other stuffy treats to your pet’s space.
These are tough days, so try to make life a little bit easier and smoother for your pets by being available for them. It is also essential to remain versatile at the same time. In essence, the transition to lockdown life is rough for all of us. And if your dog regresses with his training, or demonstrates new unwelcome behaviors, remain vigilant and be willing to make changes and receive advice from veterinarians or pet experts if you need assistance.
Above all things, use this opportunity to spoil your fur babies. Although the world seems like a foreign place with the global pandemic, our pets strive hard to give us joy. Let them feel that they are loved and are doing a pretty good job by taking the advice mentioned above on how to take care of your pets during this Covid-19 lockdown. Keep safe, as this too shall pass.