People across the globe are practicing social distancing and limit their contact with other people due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Though it is a dream come true for your pets to have you home all day, social distancing can also make your animals feel bored, unsettled, confused and restless.
In an interview with Insider, veterinarians share some of the best advice for pet owners who are with their companion animals all day, every day.
- Create a daily routine
Pets like structure and they are at their happiest when they have a consistent schedule, says Travis Arndt, veterinarian and director of the Animal Medical Center for Mid-America.
“Create specific playtimes, like before you start your work-from-home day, during your lunch break, or after you’ve signed off for the day. Stick to that schedule as best you can,” he says.
- Use extra-stimulating pet toys
It would be tough to think of ways to entertain your pets who are used to play outside. Arndt says pet owners with very active animal companions and small homes should provide their pets attention-grabbing toys.
“Provide toys that stimulate your pet’s mind, like those that can be stuffed with treats or squeaky toys,” he says.
- Stock enough pet food, medicine and other basics
As the government mandated lockdown measures and social distancing, it is a good idea to buy enough pet supplies that can last for at least two weeks.
“Have at least a two-week supply of your pet’s food and medications on-hand. You will also want to make sure your pet doesn’t fall behind on flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives,” says Arndt.
- Stick to regular feeding schedule
Even if you’re home all day, it does not mean you can give your companion animals extra treats every now and then.
“Your pet will get used to the feeding schedule you use during quarantine, making switching difficult when you no longer have to work from home,” Adam Boyko, veterinarian and associate professor at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, told Insider.
- Add extra exercise to new routine
Social distancing means skipping playtime at parks or other trips, leaving your pets having extra energy to burn.
“Playing in your yard or taking a walk in your neighborhood will keep you and your pet physically active and can help ward off those feelings of isolation and boredom,” says Arndt. “Just be sure to use common sense and avoid crowded places.”
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