From settling into new working-from-home routines, to giving each other enough space, navigating lockdown with our close family can be a challenging time for us all – our pets included. While our furry friends can be a source of great comfort to us in these uncertain times, it’s important we don’t forget about their mental and physical health too.
PetSafe® Brand has compiled the following tips to care for pets during lockdown to keep them healthy and happy while taking advantage of spending more time together.
Top tips on how to get through lockdown with our furry friends
- Go for walks…but don’t overwalk
Getting out to exercise with your dog is a good way to avoid cabin fever and have some much needed fresh air. However, make sure you don’t over walk them by getting every family member to take them on individual walks out or they could get overtired.
- Get inventive with indoor exercise
If you’re self isolating and unable to get out and walk your pet, consider other ways you could get your pet moving. In homes with stairs, you could encourage your pet (provided they are in good health) to go up and down a few times. Or you could consider setting up an indoor obstacle course and get them jumping over chairs, under tables and circling furniture!
- Set aside playtime
No matter the size of your home, find a space where you can play with your pet to help keep them mentally and physically stimulated. This could be as simple as an hour of throwing the ball in the garden, or playing tug of war inside. If you have a smaller dog and a long corridor you could even try an indoor game of ‘Fetch’. Try to do this for at least half an hour morning and night.
- Stick to meal time routines
While upturned work patterns have had an impact on our schedules, our pets haven’t forgotten the time they usually eat! To give them a sense of normality, stick as closely as you can to regular meal time routines – and don’t increase their portion size.
- Limit treats
Having our kitchens close at hand can mean more snacking temptations for us and treats for our furry friends. Keep treats to a minimum though as it can instill bad habits and could increase the risk of pet weight gain, especially with limited exercise opportunites.
- Invest in fun innovative pet toys
Got an all-important conference call coming up and no way to keep your pet occupied? There are a variety of automatic indoor and outdoor electronic toys that can entertain your pet while giving you the chance to work in peace.
- Prepare for life after lockdown
While it’s great to spend extra time with our pets, try not to be with them all the time. Go to another room, even if it’s just for a short period. To avoid separation anxiety after lockdown, our pets need to get used to us not being there.
“House-bound pets like dogs can get a build-up of energy that comes out through barking, running around the garden in circles or just general naughtiness. While it can be tempting to offer additional treats or meals to calm them, there’s lots of other fun options to offer restless pets that will be better for their health” states Rob Steele, Marketing Manager, PetSafe® Brand. “No matter what type of pet you have, keeping to a routine of daily activities and exercise will be essential to help with their overall wellbeing and yours.”
How are you keeping your pet(s) healthy during lockdown? Let us know by commenting down below or over on Facebook and Twitter @UKMumstv.