While you may be going stir crazy, stressing about teaching your children common core math, and juggling conference calls with wrestling, shouting kids in the background, your pet is probably enjoying the increased time with her family. To make the most of your time spent in quarantine, and ensure your pet, and your two-legged family members, receive proper care, follow our five tips to best tend to your pet during the COVID-19 pandemic.
#1: Combat your pet’s cabin fever with indoor games
At first, you thought this quarantine situation was going to be fantastic—sleeping in every day, snuggling your pet for hours on end, and hanging out on the couch catching up on all the Netflix series, including Tiger King. But, reality differs from your expectations. Instead, your entire family is driving you insane, and you’re desperate to head back to work, pandemic notwithstanding. If your family is also bored, and everyone is stir crazy from being cooped up, create a variety of new games for your family and pet to play, such as:
- Hide and seek — Get the entire gang involved, and have everyone dart to different hiding places, while your pet is suitably distracted with a handful of treats. Take turns calling your pet’s name from your secret location, and see who is the last one discovered.
- Snuffle mat — Not only are snuffle mats a great way to slow down your chowhound from eating too quickly, but they’re also an excellent form of mental stimulation. You can save money and create your own snuffle mat at home, or concoct a new design, such as a “snuffle box.” Fill a box with balls of newspaper, some with pieces of kibble or treats inside, and have your pet sniff out her meal or snack. Your cat also will probably be intrigued enough to seek out her prey.
- Agility course — Build an agility course in your living room, forming obstacles from book stacks, furniture, and other household items. Have your child lure your pet around the course with a treat or toy, and tire out two children for the price of one.
- Talent show — A talent show is another great way to involve the entire family with pet entertainment. Have each family member teach your pet a favorite trick or skill, and then put on a show highlighting these performances. Vote for the best feather-wand routine, or stop, drop, and roll action, and crown the champion.
#2: Adjust your pet’s calorie intake for reduced activity
Despite your best efforts, you and your pet are likely less active when stuck at home for an extended time. Instead of visiting the dog park daily, your pooch may settle for a quick walk around the block at an off-peak time, to avoid running into people. Use the list of indoor activities to keep your pet active, but you may still need to reduce calorie consumption to match decreased exercise. If your pet complains about smaller portions, add fresh veggies, which are a great fiber source, and will help your furry pal feel full, despite the minimal calories.
#3: Create a first aid kit for your pet to provide routine medical care
Your own first aid kit likely has most of the supplies needed during a pet emergency, but it may be missing a few key items, such as:
- Styptic powder
- Activated charcoal
- Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Digital thermometer
- Eye dropper
- Large syringe without needle
- Adhesive bandage tape
- Nonstick bandages
- Sterile saline eye wash
- Non-adhesive vet wrap
- Diphenhydramine (i.e., Benadryl)
- Triple antibiotic ointment
If your pet has a small wound, flush and clean the area, and apply pressure with a bandage to stop the bleeding. For larger wounds or lacerations, your pet will likely need veterinary care. In an emergency, first aid care will stabilize your pet until you reach a veterinarian, but it will not replace professional care.
#4: Ensure your pet’s necessities are fully stocked
While battling the hordes over the last pack of toilet paper, did you forget to stock up on your pet’s favorite treats? During this pandemic, ensure you have plenty of your furry friend’s supplies on hand, as the situation is rapidly changing, and quarantine periods may be extended. The top necessities for your pet include:
- Parasite prevention
If you’re unable to pick up your pet’s medication at our hospital, head to our online pharmacy for all your pet’s prescription needs, and enjoy home delivery.
#5: Learn which situations are emergencies, and when your pet needs urgent veterinary care
To ease the burden of deciding what constitutes an emergency, consult with one of our veterinarians through our telemedicine app for professional advice. Our veterinarians can diagnose and treat your pet remotely in many cases, without you ever leaving home. If your case cannot be managed remotely, our veterinarian can guide you through whether your pet needs immediate care, or if her issue can wait.
We are continuing to serve pets in our community, to ensure they still receive proper medical care. For our latest policy updates, keep in touch through our Facebook page. With any questions regarding your pet’s health, and if her situation is an urgent matter, contact us.