How to Prepare for Self-Isolation as a Pet Owner
As we all take measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19, people around the world are practicing self-isolation and social distancing. But what does that mean for our pets? And how can we prepare for uncertain times?
It’s important for pet owners to keep their beloved companions in mind during emergency preparations.
Stay calm, stay safe, and follow these guidelines to ensure your pet will be well taken care of through this time.
Stock up on two weeks of pet supplies
If your local authorities have suggested staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak, make sure to pick up enough supplies for your pet.
Have at least two weeks’ worth of food and treats stocked up. If you’re running low on pet shampoo/conditioner, now would be a good time to replenish.
Will you be able to keep up with your pet’s dental care? Whichever products you use to clean their teeth, check if you’ll have enough for the next 14 days.
And of course, first aid supplies are always helpful to have on hand in case of an emergency.
Prepare for bathroom breaks
Cat owners going into quarantine: have enough cat litter and bags to last your feline two weeks.
As for dog owners? Private backyards make it easy to let your dog do their business in isolation, and walks outside will depend on your local health guidelines for the outbreak. Current quarantine regulations in Italy permit dog owners to walk their pets outside, as long as the social distance is maintained. Staying at least 6 feet away from other people will reduce your chances of catching COVID-19 if you do walk your dog outside!
It’s important to have enough poop bags to clean up after your dog every time they go potty. Dog poop is a pollutant with 23 million bacteria per gram and can be harmful to your health. You should never leave dog poop lying around – pet waste can make both people and animals sick!
When cleaning up after your pet, avoid direct poop to hand contact (as usual). Safety first!
As businesses limit their hours, hands-on veterinary care might be more challenging. If your pet has medical issues, stock up on a month’s worth of their medication to make sure they’re all set. And if they take monthly preventatives for fleas, ticks or heartworm, have some extra on hand.
Is your pet up to date on all their vaccines? If not, call your vet to discuss (and please thank them for their service during these uncertain times).
Don’t panic – pet supply stores will stay open
Some regions have closed non-essential businesses in order to flatten the curve of infection rates. If you are worried you won’t have enough pet supplies to last through this period, fear not!
Pet supplies are considered essential items in many provinces and states. So, pet stores and veterinary clinics are permitted to stay open to help you and your pup!
Stores have been getting creative to safely serve customers. Some options to purchase pet supplies while social distancing includes online ordering, phone orders, curbside pick-ups, and deliveries.
All this is made possible by incredible efforts from distributors, drivers, and the people keeping their doors open to make sure your pet is taken care of. When you go to pick up new rolls of poop bags, please make sure to say thank you!
In case of emergency
No one wants to think about getting separated from their pet. But it’s important to be prepared to handle any situation that may come your way.
Ensure your pet has a microchip with up-to-date information and wears a collar with ID. That way you both can be reunited in the event of separation!
If you haven’t already, consider designating an emergency short-term or long-term caregiver. Keep a dossier with all your pet’s information in one place: their habits and behavioral tendencies, medical records, copies of important documents, food preferences and any medications they take. And have a sturdy leash/harness and crate for them to be able to safely transport your pet.
Taking these extra precautions will ensure your pet stays safe in any situation.
There is no current evidence that COVID-19 can infect dogs or cats and make them sick.
However, it’s an important practice to keep everything and everyone clean. Pets are regularly touched by people’s hands, so as sad as it is, limit the amount of people, especially strangers petting your dog to avoid transmission. Wash your hands regularly and your dog as well! Keep your hands and your dog’s tongue off your face. We all have to make some sacrifices to keep ourselves and our families safe.
Make the most of indoor time with your pet
On the bright side: more time at home means more quality time to spend with animal companions!
Your pet can sense stress, so keep them comfortable with familiar toys and blankets, and try to maintain a sense of normalcy and routine for them.
Here at Earth Rated, our team has been working from home with our pets as a precaution. We’ve compiled a list of activities for you to help keep your pet (and you!) mentally and physically stimulated indoors!
As we navigate uncharted waters, we’re doing everything in our power to support our team, our customers and our retail partners.
On that note, we know many of you are at home and we know people are worried. If you need someone to talk to, we’re here for you.
Next article: How to Keep Your Dog Entertained Indoors