During the lockdown many of our usual day to day activities, including travel (even to and from work) and socialising are no longer possible, so making sure we keep ourselves and our pets active and stimulated is going to be more of a challenge. And just like you, your dog in particular may need some help burning off excess energy and staving off boredom.
Here are some ways you can make sure that your pets are well provided for and that you keep your cat or dog happy while you are stuck indoors.
Your pet's diet and nutrition
Make sure you prepare ahead, particularly if you are self isolating. You may have people who can go shopping for you but with things changing on a daily basis it’s good to think ahead and have some fallback options. You might think about planning in a grocery delivery in case friends or neighbours are no longer able to drop by with shopping. Unless you are home preparing raw meals from fresh ingredients, much pet food is either frozen, ambient or dried and so you could prepare for several weeks ahead at least.
If you are self-isolating it's likely that your pet’s activity levels are going to be reduced and this is something to be aware of when feeding. You may need to adjust the amount of food they are getting to avoid weight gain. You may also find that with reduced activity your dog is more prone to constipation. If you are raw feeding you could consider reducing the amount of bone in your dog’s diet, but if you are at all concerned about constipation it’s worth discussing with your vet for some advice.
Dogs especially will need to try and get their usual level of exercise. If you have more than one adult in your house consider taking your outings separately so your dog gets more than one walk in a day. You could also try running with your dog if they are usually active and mobile..
If you have a treadmill at home that can be a great way to get some extra walks in (and if you are self isolating a good replacement for the traditional walkies!). And of course make the most of any garden space you have as well, making sure your dog has regular access for fresh air and a run around. You could create a mini course for them to navigate using simple garden objects or even cushions in the lounge, especially when it comes to active dogs who are used to agility work for example.
Outdoor cats should be allowed to come and go as usual, but as with all pets make sure you follow the usual hygiene advice, washing your hands after handling or feeding your pet. There is no evidence as yet to suggest that COVID-19 can make animals ill, but if you are at all worried about your pet’s health you should phone your vet.