During this unprecedented global pandemic, many of us are quarantined at home with our four-legged family members to avoid contracting the virus, and to reduce the spread of COVID-19. With more than 76 million American households at home to at least one canine or feline family member, we would like to share some tips to promote your pet’s safety and well-being.
Pet Safety and Well-Being Tips During COVID-19
1. Have Adequate Pet Supplies
Pet owners should have enough food, supplements and medications for at least two weeks at any given time.
2. Have a Contingency Plan
Identify someone who can take care of your pet in the event you no longer can. Make sure to provide instructions for any special care your pet requires, including specific and detailed directions about medicinal dosing and administration.
3. Exercise Your Pet
There are several ways to engage pets physically and mentally while indoors, including a rousing game of “keep-away”, calling dogs back and forth through the house with treats, playing hide and seek, or getting them puzzle toys. You can also encourage them to forage for food, set up an indoor agility course, and play “find the toy or treat.”
4. Do Not Overfeed
While more Americans are forced to stay home and self-isolate, it is easier than ever to stress eat during this time without realizing it—and overfeed pets while you’re at it. According to a recent Pet Obesity Prevention survey, nearly 60 percent of cats and 56 percent of dogs are considered overweight or obese, which can lead to health problems.
5. Develop a Schedule
Like people, many pets are comforted by routines. As we find our daily routines disrupted, it’s important to develop new routines to help give pets structure. Continue to feed them and walk them on a similar schedule, if possible, or develop new indoor routines to replace the missing rituals.
6. Limit Contact
There is still no evidence that companion animals can spread COVID-19, and further, it does not appear that companion animals become ill from this virus. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or suspect that you may be positive, limit contact with your pet as much as possible and find someone else to care for your pet while you provide care for yourself. As a precaution, try not to pet them but, if you must, wash your hands both before and after. Do not kiss them or snuggle with them, and wear a face mask around them. Once you get better and the quarantine has passed, you can give your pet extra love and snuggles to make up for the couple of weeks apart.
7. Plan for Medical Emergencies
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or suspect that you may be positive, and your pet becomes sick or experiences an emergency that requires veterinary attention and no one else can take them to a vet or animal hospital, pet owners should call ahead to inform the vet of the situation.
8. Have Updated Medical Records
In the event you need to board your pet, it’s a good idea to keep his or her vaccines up to date. Call your veterinarian to obtain your pets vaccination records (if you don’t have a copy) or to schedule an appointment to update vaccines.
9. Stay Calm
Since pets pick up on our nervous energy, the last thing you want to do is stress them out in a way that causes them to act out, further perpetuating your own anxiety. Do some deep breathing, pet them calmly, and make sure to give them your full, undivided attention at least 15 minutes per day, to soothe both them and yourself.
For more tips and information for you and your pet during this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, visit and bookmark our COVID-19 Updates webpage as it updated regularly.
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