With the Nation in lockdown due to the Covid 19, we find social distancing and working from home now a necessary part of our lives. Whether its due to regional lockdowns or self isolation, our Registered Vet Nurses have some tips on how best to look after our pets in these unprecedented times.
As the economy tries to continue, the need to adapt and work from home is a must for much of the world. Many benefits of this have been seen both for the owner and pet, company and interaction can help reduce stress and anxieties. Like owners, our pets are used to their ‘normal’ routine so try to keep mealtimes and the main walks for dogs the same as usual. Keep in mind that cats are opportunistic feeders so don’t be fooled by the starving looks they will be giving you at least 14 times a day!
With the restrictions in place during lockdown try introducing some activities and exercise to your pet’s routine. Mental stimulation may entertain your pet helping to keep them occupied and break up the day. Try a food hiding game using a cardboard box or maybe a Kong could replace a normal treat to make it last longer. Consider introducing a new trick or game of hide the toy to encourage interaction and exercise. Hide treats around the house or in the garden to help stimulate your pet. Podcasts for pets can help relax and calm then and there are now TV channels dedicated to cats and dogs, this may help during busy working days.
There is no evidence to suggest that we can catch the virus from our pets or pass it on to them. We should continue to maintain good hand hygiene before and after playing with them and try to keep your distance from them if you are showing any symptoms. The current rule is that each person in the house can walk your dog once a day, when you are out on that walk make sure you practice social distancing and politely request that people do not stop to stroke your dog. Cats can go out and about as usual. If you are self-isolating or showing any symptoms, then you should only walk your dog in your garden or very close to your house and perhaps consider if there is someone you could ask to help. It is sensible to ensure you have enough food to last for two weeks at a time but please don’t stockpile.
Your vet is still available through this time but their protocols may have changed. Video calling and remote prescribing are now part of the new “norm”. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you think your pet needs it.