In just two months, the swift spread of COVID-19 throughout the U.S. has warranted state-wide quarantines, shelter-in-place orders, school shutdowns, and other social distancing practices that have upended day-to-day life for millions of people.
With social life ceased, families—pets included—are spending more time together at home (which, let’s face it, can be tough). Cooped up at home, we are finding new ways to stay active and entertained. Today, many of us are balancing the realities of working from home while parenting, sitting down for family meals, playing board games, and revisiting old hobbies.
Gradually, the world is growing accustomed to self-isolation, but what does this mean for our pets?
Like us, our furry friends need mental and physical enrichment. So, what can you do to make sure Fido and Whiskers stays safe and sane during this unsettling time? Cathleen Meeks, DVM, Regional Vice President of Medicine, Veterinary Internist, BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, provides expert tips to help owners keep pets healthy and happy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our normal routines have drastically changed. As we keep on top of our family’s health needs, we must also keep in mind the health needs of our pets,” remarked Dr. Meeks. “In many ways, our needs as humans are similar to our pets’ needs – we all require a nutritious diet, clean water, good hygiene and exercise to maintain good health. And just like people, some pets may feel anxiety due to the sudden change in daily routines. It’s important to keep their schedules as stable as possible, which means keeping mealtimes, walks and other enrichment consistent.”
By following these expert tips, pet owners may be able to help ease some of the effects that COVID-19 lifestyle changes may have on our four-legged friends.
Today, pet owners are confronted with a unique challenge: maintaining the health and happiness of their pets while sticking to the ever-evolving recommendations and local requirements. Though it is an unsettling time, Dr. Meeks says there are simple best practices pet owners can follow to help ensure the safety and health of their pet.
As always, it’s important for people to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene,” said Dr. Meeks. “For pet owners, this includes washing hands after handling pets, their food, waste, or supplies. If you have questions about your pet’s health, talk to your veterinarian. If your pet is experiencing an emergency, contact your local emergency veterinary practice.”
BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, which has more than 90 emergency and specialty pet hospitals across 25 U.S. states, remains committed to providing remarkable care for clients and pets during this time. To find a hospital near you, please visit https://bluepearlvet.com/find-a-hospital/.