Heartland Animal Hospital Blog
While COVID-19 quarantines continue across the country, you may be spinning your wheels to stay busy, productive, and positive. Luckily, our pets provide a great deal of comfort and companionship despite the isolation and stress caused by the Novel Coronavirus. As dogs and cats get used to having you at home, you may need to add some new activities to your repertoire to help keep them busy and make the most of your time together.
If you’re up to seven walks or tried to get your cat’s attention for the fifteenth time today without success, here are some great ways to make the most of your quaran-time with your furry family.
1. Become a Busy Bee & Get Back in the Garden
It’s likely you’ve heard that yards across America will never look better than they do right now. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to enjoy the spring weather and get your hands dirty in the yard, it’s time to get started. You can even make those pet-friendly changes to maximize your pet’s enjoyment of the front or backyard.
Getting outside with your dog or cat has profoundly beneficial psychological and physical effects for you and your pet. This can be both restorative and uplifting during this tense and stressful time. The mental stimulation also adds variety in your pet’s day. And the fresh air is great for you all.
Be sure you protect your pet from fleas, ticks, and heartworms with prescription-strength prevention. These pesky and potentially disease-causing bugs love to lurk in the grass and bushes.
2. Get Fit with Fido or Toned with Your Tabby
It’s a great time to invest some time in getting in shape with your dog or cat. Add extra time to your regular walks or start a new running routine. Keep in mind, that dogs should have an hourglass shape from chest to waist to hips and not all dogs are cut out for running. We can assess your dog’s health and body weight to help determine a fitness plan and fitness goals.
While your cat could probably care less about going for a run, she may enjoy a bit of yoga. Cats and dogs both seem to love when we get down on their level and enjoy some cat-cows and downward dogs. Open the windows for a bit of fresh air and focus on a positive affirmation to make the most of a yoga practice.
3. Help Prepare Your Pet for Your Return to Work
Your current pet coworkers may be a bit fuzzier than those at the office, but they’re probably a lot needier. Your pets likely love having you home. Unfortunately, this could backfire when it comes time to return to 40 hours or more at your job.
To reduce the returning-to-work-blues and possibility of your pet developing separation anxiety, try these:
- Stick to a schedule including mealtimes and walks
- Try to spend some time out of the home, even if it’s just a solo-walk
- Create some activities that encourage positive associations with your leaving like hiding treats throughout the house or giving your dog a frozen peanut-butter stuffed toy. Cats benefit from these activities, too.
4. Go Green and Make Some Up-Cycled Pet Toys
It’s probably crossed your mind that pet toys should be considered “essential,” but running an errand just to pick up a few odds and ends isn’t worth the risk. Repairing and making new pet toys is a great way to breathe new life into old toys, keep yourself busy, and reduce waste.
Try re-stuffing a de-fluffed toy and sewing the seam shut. If you don’t have batting, you can fill it with ripped or torn clothes. To help pique your cat’s interest in the new-to-mew toy, add a little catnip to the filling.
Get crafty and create brand new toys from holey socks and other household objects. Collect those extra buttons and ribbons to really jazz up your DIY project.
5. Treat Your Cat or Dog to Fresh-Baked Treats
If you’re a baker, you may have noticed grocery aisles are eerily absent of yeast, bread flour, and sugar. Luckily, these aren’t necessary when it comes to baking healthy pet treats, and treating your pet with wholesome ingredients is much better than stress-eating, right?
Use this time to explore and experiment with some new recipes. Best of all, your pets will love each and everything you make.
6. Work on Unwanted Behaviors and Learn New Tricks
There is no better time than the present to begin working on correcting those small but unwanted behaviors. From your cat sharpening her claws on the sofa to your dog pulling on the leash, you can devote a bit of quaran-time to fixing these behaviors.
Make sure your cat has plenty of options for healthy claw-sharpening. Use those newly acquired DIY skills to make a cardboard scratching post or mat.
As for your dog, you can finally take a walk without rushing and spend the necessary time it takes to stop when he or she begins to pull.
This is also a wonderful time to work on some new tricks to keep your dog or cat mentally active. Cats learn to sit pretty quickly, but can your cat master a new trick each week during quarantine? How about your dog?
If your talented pet already knows more tricks than most, remember practice makes perfect.
We Wish You and Your Pet a Productive and Healthy Quarantine
From our entire team, we wish you and your pet a safe, healthy, and productive quarantine. We also want you to know that we’re here to keep your pet healthy. From your pet’s spring flea, tick, and heartworm prevention to helping alleviate those pesky spring allergies, let’s make this May the healthiest it can be.
Image credit: ChrisBoswell/iStock/Getty Images Plus
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