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Keeping Your Pet Dog Healthy During the Pandemic

How to Keep Your Dog Strong and Healthy

By Kari OakleyPublished 4 years ago 6 min read

As the coronavirus infection rates begin to climb once again, many people will find themselves back at home to work remotely, if they aren't already. While most people don't enjoy being stuck at home every part of the day, it shouldn't be a reason to stop doing the things you enjoy, including spending quality time with your pet. If your concerned about keeping your pet healthy during COVID-19, then you're a good pet parent, but there really isn't too much reason to worry as the risk of spreading to pets is low. However, even if you aren't spending as much time outdoors, your pet still needs exercise and a dose of other essentials from you. Here are some tips to keep your pet healthy during the pandemic.

1. Stock Up on Your Pet's Nutritional Needs

Since the pandemic began, there have been fluctuations on the availability of certain products. Because shortages can't be predicted, but you can be sure they will pass, it's a good idea to stock up on enough meals for each of your pets to get them through a month. Keep that supply in reserve and continue to purchase food as you would if you don't have some stored away. That way, if one day the market doesn't have cat or dog food, you won't have a reason to panic.

Be sure you also provide supplements for your pet to ensure he or sure is at optimal health during these gloomiest of times. You can pick up Ultimate Pet Nutrition discounts to help you save while you're stocking up.

2. Waste Needs

Food isn't the only need your pet has. If you have a cat, you'll want to have a few boxes of litter handy, too. The other benefit to stocking up on these essentials is if you yourself should become sick. You won't be able to leave the house to do a grocery pickup, and not all locations have grocery delivery. These are unpredictable times, but being prepared can help alleviate any stress you might otherwise experience.

3. Have a Few Extra Toys

Your pet may not be accustomed to having you home during the day, so while you're working, Fido or Fifi might want some play time. While this creates a nice break from work, there will be times you simply can't break away. Having some new and interesting toys on hand can keep your pet busy until you're available again.

You always want toys to coax your pet into staying active. While you might be required to remain stationary at your desk, you don't want that for your pet.

4. Play With Your Pet

There are a variety of games you can play with your cat and dog and either will thrive on the attention. The American Kennel Club suggests playing hiding games with your canine. Your dog can use it's special skill of smell to locate a treasure. Other recommended games include hide and seek, and practicing obedience training.

Some fun games to play with your cat include chasing the laser beam, chasing a simple strand of string, or throwing a ping pong ball against a wall. As the ping pong ball bounces, your cat will try to catch it.

Games are a fun way to stay active, but they also help your pets mood. Try to get in at least 10-minutes of fun with your pet each day.

5. Get Exercise

Making time for exercise will benefit you and your pet, especially if you have a dog. Experts say going outdoors for walks is safe as long as you keep a safe distance from other people. Take a mask with you in case you encounter a crowd.

If you prefer to exercise indoors, you can have your pet help you. If your dog or cat is small enough, you can use your pet as a weight for arm lifts. If your dog likes learning new tricks, teach him to jump rope with you.

Exercise can be a time for bonding and having fun in addition to tending to your health needs. Having a partner also gives you more incentive to get on your feet and start moving.

6. Protect Your Pet, Too

When you go out, you take hand sanitizer and wear a mask. If your puppy goes with you, just think of all the germs his paws are picking up. Get some disinfectant pet wipes to clean your pup's feet before he re-enters the home.

Also, just as you aren't going around other people, don't allow your pet to, either. While transmission is pets is low, it isn't impossible. Taking these precautions will help keep you both safe.

7. Have a Plan for Quarantine

If you should come down with COVID-19, have someone else care for your pet. Not only do you not want to expose your pet, but you can't predict how sick you might become. You may find you don't have the energy to provide the appropriate care for your pet.

If no one lives with you who can care for your pet, you should find someone willing to take your pet in. Allowing your pet to spend time with someone you trust, who is also being careful in the same vein as you, will help ease any guilt you might feel for not being able to care for him or her.

If you don't have anyone else available to care for your pet, practice safety when you're in the same room as your pet. Wash your hands after handling your pet; after all, your immune system is compromised.

Don't kiss your pet, and don't touch your pet if you can avoid it. Also, don't allow your pet to sleep wit you and wear a mask.

8. Keep Cat Indoors

An outdoor cat can find itself in all kinds of situations, and you'd never be the wise. During the pandemic, it's best to keep your cat in, even if it was previously an indoor/outdoor cat.

A cat that enjoys the outdoors may become stir crazy being indoors full-time. If your cat starts scratching at the door wanting out, put it in a cage with a litter box and plenty of food and water. After a day, let your cat back out and see if it behaves. Keep trying until your cat learns it won't win this argument.

9. Don't Put a Mask on Your Pet

While masks may be safe for people, the same can't be said for pets. Masks aren't made to fit your pet, and your pet could harm itself trying to remove the mask. A pet can't understand why it would wear a mask and to try and make it wear a mask is placing unnecessary stress on your pet.

10. Watch Your Pets Mood

Just like their human friends, pets can also feel stress, anxiety, and depression. Experiencing these types of feelings aren't good for your pet, just as they aren't good for you. Pay attention to your pet, and if you sense something is off, try spending a little extra time with him or her.

11. Mind Their Fur and Teeth

If you usually take your pet to the groomer, that may not be an option for the interim. You will have to pick up the slack. Have a brush for each of your pets. Different coats require different types of brushes.

For a dog with a long or curly coat, a slicker brush will help remove any mats. These brushes are great for Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, and hairy terriers.

Thick haired dogs such as Malamutes and Chow Chows need a rake to remove tables and the dead undercoat. You want the pins on the rake to match your dogs hair length; otherwise, they'll be too short and won't reach the undercoat.

Bristle brushes are good for all short-haired breeds. Brushing daily will help keep shedding down and also feels good against their skin.

If you don't brush your dog's teeth, now is a good time to pick up this habit since you are always in one another's company. In fact, once your dog realizes it's a safe practice, he or she may come to enjoy it and expect it, which helps make this essential grooming practice a regular routine.

Pets are always deserving of love and special attention, but during a pandemic it can be easy to become overly concerned with yourself. Not only will the love you provide your pet benefit him or her, it will also benefit you.

People have long known that pets add value to life, and not just for the services they once provided and still continue to provide. Pets make good companions, and they can help bring light to an otherwise gloomy day. This pandemic will pass soon enough, and when it does, you may realize that it actually provided you the opportunity to develop a more special bond with your pet. Remember, you're in this together, and you'll get through it together.


About the Creator

Kari Oakley

Kari Oakley is a fitness trainer from Kenosha Wisconsin. She now lives in downtown Chicago, and loves to get out. She is a big fan of anything adventure, and loves getting a workout in the outdoors.

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    Kari OakleyWritten by Kari Oakley

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