Being in a lockdown is bad enough. But being isolated from your loved ones is worse. The scenario took its toll on the average American’s mental health regardless of age, gender, economic status, occupation, or residence.
So how can you cope with the pangs of loneliness, depression, and anxiety while in isolation? Keeping a pet is one of the best ways to maintain your sanity.
But while your pets keep you company, pet owners also have a responsibility to keep them healthy amidst the pandemic. These tips can help you keep your pets as healthy as possible.
1. Keep yourself healthy
Although there is no direct evidence that coronavirus can be transmitted to pets, it is still advisable to observe hygienic practices like washing your hands before and after cuddling your pets.
If you are not feeling well, minimize petting, snuggling, or kissing with your pets. Better yet, maintain social distancing for a while.
However, if you are confirmed as covid positive, you could do the following to protect your pet:
- Do not put personal protective equipment and mask on your pet
- Assign somebody to take care of your pet temporarily, especially if you will be hospitalized. If you are the only one who can take care of your pet, wear a face mask before you come close to them.
- Do not spray disinfectant to your pet
- Do not cough or sneeze in your pet’s direction
2. Regularly check your pet’s food supply
Consider buying at least a week’s food supply in case of a total lockdown. Keeping your pets eating well and on the same diet is important in maintaining their good health in general. However, do not overfeed your pets. Avoid giving them too many treats and unhealthy foods that can risk their health.
3. Keep them entertained
Allot more playtime and exercise for your pets, especially this pandemic. Take them for a walk around if you have a garden. Giving them toys will entertain them and could prevent them from bothering you. They can really be annoying at times.
You could check out some store-bought toys for cats to keep them away from napping on your keyboard.
4. Look out for signs of illness
Then lockdown can also take a toll on your pet’s well-being. Some animals could be stressed due to the recent and unexpected changes to their daily lives. Your household has become busier since children are at home the whole day. You could provide a quiet area for your pet to take a break from all the activities. Setting up a routine for walks, playtime, and meals can lower their stress level. Playing soft and soothing sounds can calm your restless pet.
Here are some signs that your pet, particularly a dog, is sick:
- lack of appetite
- low energy for play
- excessive thirst or urination
- difficulty breathing
If you notice any of these signs or suspect that your dog has been exposed to a person infected with covid, go to the nearest veterinary clinic in your area as soon as possible.
Avail of online consultation with your vet if a face-to-face visit is prohibited. Continue their medication as prescribed by the veterinarian.
5. Avoid bringing your pets to crowded places
There is no concrete evidence yet that animals can contract the covid virus. However, it is still better to be on the safe side. Bring your pet to your trusted veterinarian if it manifests covid like symptoms.
6. Keep tab of the vaccines
Update your pet’s vaccine to prevent further complications during the pandemic. Vaccines can prevent the transmission of disease not only between animals but also from animals to people.
7.Prepare a Pet Dossier
A pet dossier is a compilation of important information about your dog. This includes their:
- Medical conditions
- Veterinarian contact information
- Medications taken
- Vaccination records
- Food preferences
- Behavioral tendencies
You could endorse a dossier to a temporary pet caregiver if you will be away for a long time, like hospital confinement.
Pets can really be a great source of joy and during isolation. Their company makes lockdown bearable for most pet lovers. However, while they keep our mental health intact, let us not forget their needs. Following the tips suggested here maybe be daunting. However, the benefits of having a healthy, happy, and safe pet far outweigh the burden. The lifting of lockdown may take years, but with cuddly and huggable pets beside you, who cares?