If you’re reading this, there's a good chance you’re probably staying at home playing your part is stopping this virus from spreading.
And despite what people think, it isn't easy.
It can be isolating and lonely.
However, having your fur ball at your side (or sassily ignoring your from afar) can do a lot in helping you stay sane.
And to give you a little more assistance. We’ve created this quick “COVID Stay at Home Fur-kiddo Guide"
(It doesn’t roll off the tongue easily, but hey, I was pressed for time)
1. Get in touch with your vet to find out how they dealing with this pandemic
Call your vet and find out if they’re open, how they will be handling appointments and what will the process be for collecting medication.
Some vets may pause regular non-essential checkups and only see patients that are injured and sick. Others may be open to all and want you (the trusty hooman companion) to sit in the car during the examination. Either way, its important to get in touch and find out.
2. What can I do to keep my cat/dog entertained for hours?
If you’re a cat parent, this is a little easier… if your furkiddo isn't snoozing inside there are a bunch of low energy ways to keep your kitties entertained... these include:
- Play with your kitties! Maybe invest in a fishing rod toy with feathers – this provides great exercise for your cat as well as mental stimulation as they try to ‘catch’ the feather
- Enrichment feed - enrichment feeders are excellent boredom busters as they make cats work to get their food
- Provide your cat with a place to hide and ideally somewhere to get up high – a cardboard box is a perfect hiding place
- Cats restricted to indoors will each need a litter tray for toileting (plus one extra)
- Also, provide your cat with a good scratching post
- You can also use synthetic pheromones/calming sprays to help ease your cat’s stress from being confined. These are available as a plug-in diffuser or spray and help your cat feel more secure during times of stress
If you have a doggo in the house, this may require a bit more energy from you (but hey, its never a bad thing to get a little extra exercise!)
- Try challenging your pooch at tea time - ditch the food bowl and feed Fido using a Kong or a food puzzle to get them thinking.
- Play, play, play! Most dogs love to play so set aside some time to have a good game of fetch or tug with your pooch.
- Learning a new trick or command is great mental stimulation for a dog. Get out their favourite treats and try teaching Fido how to wave his paw, ‘sit’, ‘lie down’, or ‘roll-over’.
- Get him sniffing - scent work can be a great way to keep them busy for ages! Hide treats around the garden or around the house and send them off in search of them. If you feed your dog kibble this can be a great way to serve them their meals!
- Remember toilet breaks - remember your dog will still need to go outside to use the toilet so make sure they get regular access to the garden to potter, sniff and wee.
- Spotify has recently launched ‘My Dog’s Favourite Podcast’ which has a range of carefully selected spoken word, sound and original music designed to encourage relaxation.
3. Make sure you have the essentials
By the 'essentials' we mean food, medicine and any Scruffy Paws goodies your kitty loves 😉
But in all seriousness, we’re not saying you should panic and head to the store to bulk buy - as of right now pet supplies are marked as essential items and manufacturers are making them.
However, something to think about - as more people go off sick, there may be a slight delay in supply.
Also, if you do feel sick, you shouldn’t leave the house
In that case make sure you have friends/family who can deliver goods to your door. Or a lot of companies offer online delivery services, all it takes is a few clicks and your fur kiddos have their food, medicine and supplements at your door.
(In fact, Scruffy Paws are offering FREE US shipping for the time being… so grab some goodies whilst we have them!)
4. If you are showing symptoms of coronavirus then...
If you’ve been diagnosed with, are suspected of having or are displaying characteristic symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), it is advisable to minimise the amount of time your cat spends outdoors unsupervised.
If possible, keep your cat indoors if they are happy to be kept indoors. Ensuring your cat continues to get daily activity is important for their wellbeing. Try the following:
1) Consider ways to play that do not involve direct contact with fur or saliva
2) Try a fishing rod toy with feathers – allowing your cat necessary mental stimulation at a distance to you
3) If your cat does continue to play with catnip toys or balls, you should avoid touching these or thoroughly wash your hands with soap and hot water after handling them
4) If your cat is used to coming and going as they please keeping them inside could be very stressful and may make them ill. We would advise minimising interactions with them and washing your hands thoroughly after contact with them or any of their items.
NOTE: Even if you aren’t showing signs of the corona virus, make sure to wash your hands after petting your cat and other pets. We are still unsure of how long this virus survives on fur
5. Do something fun/learn something new/take up a hobby
At times like these, it's important to look on the bright side. Worrying doesn’t help anybody. If you’re going to be spending more time at home, why not make the most of it!
Maybe take up a new hobby, do some reading, learn something new.
We’re lucky enough to have internet connection during this time, giving you access to a wealth of information, content and like minded folk… and now its time to use it!
Or, on the flipside, you could spend some time totally unplugging - and using this isolation to get to know yourself more.
These are just ideas, but I think it's important to make the best of this situation.
The truth is, this too shall pass. And it's important to stay positive and listen to the health advice given in your area.
We've made it our mission to keep your fur kiddo healthy whilst you're indoors. You see, your pets play such a big part in your wellbeing - its important we make sure they stay healthy, happy and purring too!
If you want to see the goodies we've specially created for their health - click here to head to our homepage.