Keeping your family healthy and safe during uncertain times is challenging, and you can’t forget to include your pets in your safety plans. Your pets are suffering along with you and experiencing the same dismays over mobility restrictions and curfews. Although it’s unclear when the pandemic will subside, you should take every precaution to protect your animal companions in 2021. By implementing a sanitation plan, a list of safety procedures and the following tips, you can keep your pets happy and healthy in the upcoming new year.
The first step to protecting your pets is to maintain your health. In the last several months, some pet owners have had to give away their pets when they’ve become too sick to take care of them. Although pet organizations have helped find homes for a surge of abandoned animals, many of the pets wind up on the streets and struggle to survive the inclement weather and attacks from other animals. Protect yourself and your pets by avoiding large crowds and indoor gatherings, wearing masks in public and frequently washing your hands or using hand sanitizer.
Keep Your Home Sanitary
Keeping your home sanitary will minimize the chances of the virus spreading around your area. The CDC has identified a few cases of the virus infecting animals, but they insist that cats and dogs pose a low risk of transmission. It’s unclear whether COVID-19 can infect other pets such as reptiles and birds, but most veterinarians contend that there isn’t evidence that domestic animals are rapid spreaders. Even though the risk is low, you should thoroughly clean and sanitize your home to keep your pets safe.
Provide Plenty of Water and Food
Your pets are affected by the stresses surrounding them. With some families nearing their breaking points, their pets have raised anxiety levels, and some are suffering from dehydration and malnutrition. Keep your pets hydrated by providing fresh water every day and maintain a large supply of food and treats. Some grocery stores have limited pet food supplies after a lockdown triggers a rush of binge shopping, but you can establish a delivery plan with an online pet food distributor that delivers a package every month. You get the best deals by purchasing a year-long program, and you can receive discounts by using online vouchers and coupons.
Establish a Nutritious Diet
A nutritious diet is essential to maintaining your pet’s health and well-being. Contact your veterinarian to determine if your pet’s current diet is sufficient, and you may have to schedule an appointment for blood and urine testing. With online pet food companies proliferating, you have several options for serving healthy meals for your pets. Companies now offer fresh food for dogs and cats, and you can find premium meals in refrigerated coolers at local grocery stores. Although fresh pet food is more expensive than traditional meals, it contains fewer fillers and preservatives than commercial brands. To ensure that your pet’s nutritional levels are optimal, you can examine ultimate pet nutrition offers to purchase a dietary supplement for your dog or cat.
Keep a Large Stockpile of Medications and Supplements
Since the virus has disrupted the world’s supply chains, it’s challenging to determine when a package will arrive or when a local provider will receive more stock. Medications and nutritional supplements for pets may be in short supply in your area, but you can place larger online orders that will keep your companion healthy for several months. Animals with medical conditions depend on daily medications, and it’s unclear which medical suppliers are having pandemic-related production issues. Talk to an online distributor to determine if your pet’s medicine is in short supply and try to order as much as possible if there’s an issue.
Schedule Yearly Vaccination Appointments
Although occupancy restrictions around the country have drastically changed how animal hospitals and veterinary clinics operate, most operations have implemented new safety procedures and offer curb-side pet pickups and reduced waiting room times. Check your records to find out when your pet’s vaccinations expire and schedule new appointments several weeks in advance. Vaccinations benefit animals who spend most of their time outside and protect them from wild animal infections. If you have an outside dog or cat, you may have to limit the scope of their activities to minimize their exposure to other animals.
Avoid Delaying a Medical Procedure or Emergency Appointment
Trips to the vet’s office are never fun for pets or humans, but you shouldn’t delay an important medical procedure for your pet during the pandemic. Although their policies and operating hours may have changed, veterinarians have maintained sanitary working conditions and adequate supplies to treat your pets. For substantial medical procedures, a lengthy delay can lead to declining health or possibly death. For instance, a dog with an impacted tooth can contract an acute infection that spreads to their brain if the animal isn’t seen by a professional promptly. Try to maintain regular visits (twice a year) to the vet’s office and avoid postponing operations or treatments.
Provide Daily Exercise and Play Time
Like humans, the daily lives of pets have been disrupted by the virus, and many have raised anxiety and stress levels when their mobility is restricted. Daily exercise is crucial for your pet’s health, and it may be more challenging to find places to take your pets with restrictions in place. Although many parks and trails have closed or limited their hours, you can use your home or yard as an exercise area for your pets. They may be unable to enjoy the same freedom as before, but your pet will appreciate any activity you’re capable of providing. Set aside some time every day to play with your companion. Exercise is important but giving your pet plenty of attention is also essential for its health. Cats, dogs, birds and other pets need human interactions to keep them happy. Although the chaos of the world can seem overwhelming, you can lower your stress and forget about your worries when you spend time with your favorite companion. Several studies have shown the positive effects of spending time with animals, and although many hospitals are struggling, some have allowed skilled trainers to bring in cats and dogs to comfort their patients.
Avoid Coming in Contact With Strange Animals or People
The risk of an animal transmitting the virus to a human is incredibly low, but it’s still a risk that you should consider. When you’re walking your pet, use a leash and try to keep a six-foot distance between you and other joggers and pet walkers. Dogs like to inspect other nearby animals but try to discourage the behavior by changing your walking route to a less populated area. Avoid dog parks and large outdoor or indoor events to minimize the chances of transmission. If your property doesn’t have a fence, you can consider installing an underground electric fence to prevent your pet from wandering into a hazardous area. The fence will give an animal a mild shock if it tries to cross the yard’s boundaries, and eventually, the animal will learn to avoid the area.
Clean Your Pet’s Paws and Fur
It’s unclear if droplets from the virus can land on an animal and eventually infect a human, but it’s a possibility you can reduce by thoroughly cleaning your pets’ paws and fur when they’ve been outside. When you bring your pet indoors after a walk, immediately take it to the kitchen or bathroom to clean it. Use a mild soap to clean your dog or cat and a sanitary brush to groom the animal. Grooming removes dirt, debris and excess hair and should be a weekly activity for your loyal companion.
Clean Play Toys, Beds and Rugs
To maintain a clean home, you should regularly clean your pet’s toys, bed and rugs. You can purchase animal toys that are safe for washers and driers, but you should replace old or damaged items that may be teeming with bacteria. Keeping your pet’s favorite objects clean will keep your animal and your family safe from pests, bacteria and viruses.
Establish a Routine for Your Pet
Animals often have problems adapting to a new routine, and sometimes they act out when their environment changes. Although it may be difficult, you should try to feed your pet at the same time every day. Feeding time is a period that animals anticipate and look forward to more than anything else. With regular feeding times, the animals are less likely to become stressed or unhappy.
Spay or Neuter Young Pets
If you’ve recently brought a young cat or dog into your home, you should consider getting them fixed to reduce their chances of wandering away. In the past, most vets would wait until an animal was at least a year old before they’re neutered or spayed. With feral cat and dog populations increasing around the country, most states allow vets to fix animals after three months.
By modifying your daily schedule, adhering to medical guidelines, and improving the sanitary conditions of your home, you can keep your pets safe in 2021.