Have you reached your wit’s end with the COVID-19 pandemic? Between preparing countless snacks for your kids home from school, attempting to navigate Zoom calls for work, and struggling to find more than a single roll of toilet paper, your nerves are likely stretched thin. Your furry pal may be in the same boat, wondering why the entire family never leaves home, and continuously interrupts naptime. With so many tasks and problems occupying your mind, the last thing you need to worry about is pet care. We want to simplify your life, and take one task off your plate during this pandemic, so we are offering tips to help care for your pet’s needs. 

How to provide for your pet’s needs during a pandemic

Fortunately, your pet doesn’t require toilet paper to do her business, but other necessities may be in short supply. Popular pet foods are running low, or may be out of stock, in stores or online, as manufacturers cannot keep up with the surge in demand. Online pet marketplaces are reporting out-of-stock messages on many foods, and warning customers of shipping delays. Prevent a sudden switch in your pet’s food by stocking up well in advance of an empty bag. If you cannot find your pet’s food in time, try to find a diet with similar ingredients, ideally by the same manufacturer, to limit gastrointestinal upset. 

Your pet’s daily medications and parasite preventive are other key necessities. Rather than heading out to pick up your pet’s prescriptions, and potentially risking coronavirus exposure or transmission, place your order through Countryside Veterinary Hospital’s online pharmacy, and your pet’s medications will be shipped straight to your door, which is perfect for social distancing and quarantine practices. 

How to care for your pet’s mental and physical needs during a pandemic

Mental and physical activity are excellent ways to reduce stress, calm anxiety, and promote a healthy, happy pet. Now, more than ever, catering to your pet’s mental and physical needs is vital. Her normal routine may be in an upheaval, but you can help smooth out a regular schedule by creating fun daily activities for your pet. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Visit secluded areas for daily hikes — Although the dog park and the pet store are currently off-limits to avoid close interaction, your pooch will love hitting hidden trails for exercise instead. Choose hiking paths that are free from heavy traffic, and your pup will enjoy the chance to sniff out new scents.
  • Develop an indoor agility course — With your stockpiled canned goods and paper supplies, you have all the makings of an excellent indoor agility course. Design jumps, weave poles, and other obstacles from household items, and then lure your pet to the finish line.
  • Create new games with boxes — You’ve likely seen that cats are obsessed with cardboard boxes, but they can also be fun toys for dogs. Entice your pet to play with your DIY Whack-a-Mole game, using a feather wand for cats, and hot dogs for dogs. Be careful—if you aren’t quicker than your dog, she may eat too much, and become ill. At the end of the game, if your pet has been unsuccessful at catching her prize, reward her with a small treat anyway, to encourage her to play again.
  • Feed your pet from a food puzzle — Whether or not boredom has set in during quarantine, a food puzzle is a great option to entertain your pet. Use a commercial product, such as a Kong, or create your own puzzle out of folded cardboard tubes. Your pet will have much more fun sniffing out her meal, and figuring out how to get the food, than simply eating out of a dish. Plus, she will stay occupied for longer.

How to care for your pet’s medical needs during a pandemic

You already know the best ways to encourage your pet to be active, and which treats are her favorite, but you may be uncertain about caring for her medical needs during a pandemic. Most important for keeping your pet healthy is avoiding potential emergency situations when everyone is stuck at home. This means keeping a close eye on your pet when:

  • Your kids are snacking or enjoying and baking sessions, to avoid food toxicities
  • You are working on home improvement and deep cleaning projects, to avoid harmful hazards and chemicals
  • You are making your lawn and garden spring-beautiful, to avoid fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. 

We understand that accidents happen, especially during such troubling times when your attention is elsewhere, so we are here to care for your pet during an emergency. Although many businesses are closed during this crisis, the Countryside Veterinary Hospital team is still here to provide essential services. We may ask that you reschedule your pet’s wellness visit or nonessential service, such as a nail trim, to conserve our medical supplies, and to minimize potential virus transmission. We also may need to change our policies and hours, to reflect the rapidly evolving situation, so contact us for our current procedures before heading to our hospital.