Over the last few months, no single event has had more of a global impact than COVID-19. The novel coronavirus has reached pandemic status. In an effort to curb the transmission of the highly contagious disease, governments have urged social distancing practices to eradicate its spread. Curfews are commonplace, closed signs in shop windows are the new temporary norm, and worldwide, people have experienced a shift in their lifestyles. For many, the change in daily habits that includes spending more time at home has affected their furry four-legged companions.
While that extra time may appear to be the cat’s meow, it can zap the excitement that comes with a daily routine of meal time rituals, greetings at the end of a work day and a walk in the park meeting up with other dogs and the folks they bring along. Washington D.C.- based Pet Food Institute sheds light on the COVID-19 issues impacting pets and offers tips to keep both families and pats safe while entertained.
Here are a few modifications you can make:
- Practice good hygiene – It’s important for your pet and for you. Just as you would wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds when returning from the store or throughout the day, make sure to do the same after handling pets.
- Ensure adequate amount of pet supplies – Whether food, water, grooming supplies or medication, ensure that your pet is covered in the event of an emergency. Supplies should last for a minimum of two weeks.
- Play, eat, sleep, repeat – Establishing a schedule can be helpful for both you and your pet. You can hide treats around your home, practice new commands, or play fetch. Stimulating your pet’s mental and physical exercise is important.
- Create a plan – You should always have a plan for pet care in the case of a medical emergency, including having your pet’s veterinary information written down and a trusted family member, friend or pet sitter who can care for your pet. That plan could include a sufficient amount of pet food and any medications or supplements your pet is on. The more detailed the plan, the less stress you will experience.
As every country has its own regulations and timelines for recovery, Pet Food Institute encourages persons to utilize these steps during this time of uncertainty. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reminds that “At this point in time, there is also no evidence that domestic animals, including pets and livestock, can spread COVID-19 to people.” Enjoy the emotional benefits that pets can bring to our lives during these times of stress, and always have an emergency care plan in place.