We are in unprecedented times. With the spread of COVID-19, health officials have recommended social distancing when and where possible for those able to do so.
More families are social distancing within their homes, especially as schools around the U.S. are closing. Kids, adults and furry friends are all under the same roof for longer time periods than we’re used to. Which begs the question: how best do we stay happy and healthy when so many of our worlds have been flipped upside down in a matter of days?
We’re here to give you a few ideas to keep your human and fur family members happy and healthy while social distancing!
Stock Up for Your Pets Too
Health officials have recommended venturing out for supplies as needed but trying to remain home as much as you’re able. During your strategic outings, don’t forget your pet’s needs! If your grocery store doesn’t sell pet food, check out how to order food for your furry friend online and have it shipped to your home. While you don’t, and shouldn’t, hoard pet food, treats and toys, having enough for the near future is a great plan to limit the trips out of your home.
Get Out of the House
Wait, let us explain! While social distancing is important,that doesn’t mean you can’t take your pets for a walk, play in your yard, or visit an unpopulated corner of a park. It’s still important to get exercise and sunshine – plus you and your pet will feel so much better for it!
Play fetch, go for a run, do what you enjoy outside while keeping your distance from others and being careful with what you touch and how you clean up after. We recommend bringing anti-bacterial wipes with you and clean everything you touch, including your own pet toys!
Spring Clean for Your Pets
Focus your energy on something you can control: like spring cleaning your pet’s space! We put together a comprehensive spring cleaning blog, but here are the highlights.
Toss what you don’t need. We’re looking at you, tattered, slobbery toy! But the branded pet accessories you got for free two years ago and never used? You can donate that! Pet shelters are always accepting pet food, accessories and gently used pet toys for dogs and cats in their care. You’ll likely say “goodbye” to more of the clutter in your home knowing it’s going to a pet in need.
What you don’t toss or pass along you can clean. From food bowls and toys to your furry friend, everything can use a good scrub. You’ll feel better knowing your environment is clean and organized for whatever life throws your way in coming weeks.
Support Your Pet Community, Locally and Virtually
If you frequent a local pet store, consider getting a gift card for future use. Small businesses depend on their local, frequent customers to keep them afloat. Show the love if you can to support pet loving entrepreneurs in your community!
Don’t have pet suppliers open near you? Give that fresh food plan for your pet a try! Sign-up for a startup’s low-cost subscription box for pet toys! Now is the time to give your fur family extra love and attention,plus you’ll be supporting businesses that may be hurting.
Keeping Your Pets Healthy
As pet insurers, we want to pass on the CDC’s report that they have, “not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19.” However, additional research will be needed in the future to see how the virus may impact companion animals.
To be safe, it’s a good idea to keep your pets at a distance if someone in your home does contract the virus. If a human family member gets sick, consider keeping pets in another room. If you’re your own caretaker, try to avoid kissing your pets and breathing directly on them as a precaution.
Stick to a Schedule
Even if it’s only your temporary new normal, it’s important for you and your fur babies to have some sort of daily schedule. While your sleep and eating schedules may be different, your pet’s body is still expecting their 6 AM wake-up and breakfast! Try to adjust your pets to your new schedule so they aren’t waking you up too early or acting out in hunger. Plus, you’ll be happier too when you have a walk around the block or round of fetch built into your day. Counting on certain aspects of your new-normal can help ease you and your pet’s antsy feelings while social distancing.
Expand Your Heart and Home to a Pet in Need
If you’re spending more time at home, what a great opportunity to either foster a pet or adopt a new fur baby! Giving your family’s new addition more attention as they transition into your home is easy as you’re likely already spending more time there than normal. Plus, if you have kids at home, they’ll be able to help you with walks and potty training.
Reach out to your local shelters and ask how their policies may have changed due to COVID-19. Some shelters, for example, may be taking appointments only to mitigate the number of people in their space at the same time.