Let’s face it, your pets don’t understand what’s going on around them. While the new changes may make your furry friend happier because you’re now around them at all times, some pets may start becoming nervous and temporarily depressed due to lack of physical activity.
If you live in a big city, especially if you live in an apartment building, your pet’s only physical exercise may be around the dinner table. Worse, some pets are more empathetic than others, and on top of not having the opportunity to run around anymore, they may also sense your emotional distress.
So here are a few ideas to transform these uncertain times into happy times with your pets at home, regardless of whether your home is a studio apartment in a skyscraper or a house with a big backyard in the suburbs.
Invest in toys that give your pets a mental workout
The quarantine also comes with an upside: you get to spend more time with your beloved pets and family members.
Indoor cats and small animals won’t have any issues being confined in smaller spaces. That said, they’ll still need some activities to keep them stimulated.
Do you have some extra cardboard boxes laying around in the garage? Before throwing them away, consider this idea: use the cardboard boxes to build tunnels.
You can also hide treats around the house so your pets can look for them, or you can roll around with your pets on the floor.
If you need some time for yourself but still want your pets to be engaged, invest in interactive toys for pets. You can find puzzles for pets and plenty of games that give your four-legged friend a mental workout while you curl up on the couch with a book.
Prepare alternatives to walking your dog
During this pandemic, you’re still allowed to walk your dog as long as you respect some simple social courtesy rules, such as keeping a distance from others, wearing a mask, and wearing gloves.
But if you end up in a situation where you’re exhibiting some symptoms, for the safety of others, it’s recommended for you to stay indoors. So what can you do to keep your dog active?
If you have a backyard, the situation is less complicated. Grab a leash and put on your outdoor shoes and clothes to recreate your old walking routine in your backyard. Initially, your pet will probably be a little bit confused by the change. However, as long as you persevere, your dog will eventually adapt too.
But what happens to pet lovers who don’t have a backyard? If you live in an apartment, you can use fake grass patches and pads for makeshift toilets. To make the transition smoother, reward your pet with a treat when they use the patch.
Dog and cat TV
Have you ever turned the channel to National Geographic or Animal Planet to find programs with birds for your cat to watch?
Well, now your cat or dog can binge-watch tv shows made specifically for them! And while they’re doing that, you can take a break to read a book, write your thoughts down, or do some yoga.
For dogs we recommend DogTV, and for cats we recommend the tv show SuperNature: Wild Flyers.
Watch for GI distress
Shopping for food in the supermarket feels like the Amazing Race. You’ve gotta be there first, and you’ve gotta be there fast. In times like this, you may be forced to make some compromises when it comes to the brands that you purchase for yourself and for your pets, as your favorite brands may already be sold out.
So what are you supposed to do if the new pet foods you purchase cause your pet to suffer from bloating and gas? First, read the ingredients on the foods you purchase for your pets. Avoid foods with gluten, additives, and artificial flavorings.
Keep in mind that most pets don’t do well with gluten-rich foods. As a matter of fact, often the additives and the flavorings make these products edible for your pets. For instance, a cat would never chew on wheat in the wild.
If you suspect your pet may be suffering from bloating and don’t have the ingredients at home to create healthy, homemade snacks for them, consider CBD. Research shows that CBD oil made specifically for pets may help provide relief from GI distress.
During this pandemic, a lot of veterinarians also offer telemedicine services, so if your pet feels lethargic and bloated, you may be able to contact a specialist without having to leave your home.