Coping during a pandemic has taken over everyone’s daily life, leaving little room for anything else. Trying to teach your kids this new-fangled math that makes no sense, and handling Zoom conference calls with a faulty internet connection, is testing your patience, and your mental capacities. You’re exhausted, and can’t wait for life to get back to normal. While we also cannot wait for this crisis to clear up, so we can provide our full range of pet-care services again, we understand that many pet owners are wondering how to best care for their furry pals during this time. We’re taking one thing off your plate, to help make life easier during these stressful times, by listing six ways to provide for your pet at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
#1: Refill your pet’s prescriptions at home
While you’re practicing your social distancing, you may have completely forgotten to call Belmont Animal Hospital to refill your pet’s prescriptions. Rather than hopping in the car, stay home, and check out our online pharmacy. Through Vetsource, a veterinary-grade pharmacy, you can rest assured your pet’s products are good quality, because they come straight from the manufacturer, rather than sitting in a warehouse in poor conditions. Vetsource also offers free shipping on monthly parasite preventive doses, so each month you need to purchase only one dose, which will be automatically shipped to your door, with no additional fee.
#2: Stock up early on pet supplies
With pet owners stocking up on food, treats, and other supplies, your pet’s regular food may be missing from the shelves. Online companies are also running out of popular brands. When heading out to buy your pet’s food or treats, or searching online, give yourself a grace period of at least a week, to ensure your pet’s food is in stock, before she runs out.
#3: Battle boredom through environmental enrichment for your pet
If you and your pet are going a little cabin-fever crazy during quarantine, try these boredom busters:
- Training time — Teach new skills to your pet, like hitting the “enter” button on the remote when Netflix asks you if you’re still watching.
- Agility exercise — Create an agility course out of your hoarded toilet paper rolls—extra points if your pet makes it through without damaging any.
- Hide and seek — Allow your furry pal to sniff out hidden quarantine snacks. While everyone has their own secret stash of tasty treats, hide pet-friendly treats throughout your home, to encourage your pet to engage in mental and physical enrichment.
Engaging in daily activities your pet enjoys will relax you and your best pal, so ensure you schedule an enrichment exercise each day.
#4: Keep an eye on your pet’s snacks
Minimal trips to the grocery store may mean less fresh produce and more processed snacks, which you may be tempted to share with your pet. Instead of succumbing to hibernation mode and eating lots of delicious treats, choose healthier alternatives for you and your furry friend. When preparing snacks, avoid foods toxic to pets, including chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, and xylitol, the sugar-free sweetener. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs, and is popping up in more foods, such as peanut butter and gum, so be wary of sugar-free products around your pet.
#5: Prepare for pet emergencies
Although you’ve already learned to avoid toxic foods for your pet, don’t forget about household toxins, such as disinfectants, cleaning products, and many home improvement items. If your pet manages to get into mischief while you’re busy preparing homemade pizza dough, or creating craft projects with your child, ensure your pet first aid kit is packed for any emergency. In addition to the standard first aid items, include the following in your kit:
- Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Activated charcoal
- Bandage supplies
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antihistamines, such as Benadryl
- Digital thermometer
- Large syringes—without needles—for wound flushing
In an emergency, use the first-aid resources from the American Veterinary Medical Association, to stabilize your pet until you can reach our hospital.
#6: Contact our hospital for your pet’s health care needs
At Belmont Animal Hospital, we have changed our protocols, to ensure our team, and our community, remain safe and healthy during this pandemic, but we are still providing the same level of quality care for your pet. However, we are limiting our services, and we ask that you reschedule nonessential services, such as vaccination boosters for older pets, wellness exams, and grooming. Of course, we are always here for your pet if she falls ill or is injured, but we are trying to conserve scarce medical resources for human hospitals by pushing back elective services. If anyone in your household becomes ill from COVID-19, and your pet displays illness signs after contact, call us.
If you are unsure whether your pet requires urgent care, or the situation can be resolved at home, call us for advice.