A Complete Guide: 8 Ways to Take Care of Your Pet During Covid-19
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With the all-pervading, almost deafening silence around, every one of us would have heard the howling of hungry dogs of late, more than ever. The street dogs are suffering as their territories are no longer defined, in their search for food to survive. While many kindhearted souls are providing food for these helpless street animals, the incidences of animals collapsing on the street because of lack of food and water have increased.
Having a pet at home in these times of uncertainty and lockdowns can be truly challenging as well. And the rumors about Covid-19 infecting the animals put many at a fix.
Pet lovers and parents are having a tough time concerning pet health issues, food supplies, and pet walks. While the lockdown seems to be relaxing, the visits to regular vets also seem like a thing of the past now because of travel restrictions and precautions one needs to take into consideration. But when hope seems to be dwindling, our pets are the ones who are getting us through this lockdown with something funny, something cute through their unconditional love and happy wags.
Many of you need some expert advice on how to keep pets safe. healthy and fit. Entrepreneur India spoke with Anushka Iyer, Founder, and CEO, Wiggles.in, Sixth Sense Retail Pvt. Ltd. on how pet parents can manage them. Here are some do's and don’ts on how to ensure our pets stay healthy during such times.
Nutrition and Hydration
What applies for our health, applies to our pets as well. Ensure the food you serve them is high in nutrition. “Give your pet their regular food at their usual meal times. Make sure you stock up on 1-2 months of pet food in advance. Keep them hydrated with a clean bowl of water regularly in these scorching summer months. If their regular food is unavailable, check with your vet if you can slowly transition your pet to eating wet food," said Iyer.
Some pet startups offer wet food options now for cats and dogs in different variants like paneer, chicken, fish, and veggies along with health makers. "Opt for the fresh, homemade options as this will ensure that your pet eats healthy. They also offer personalized meal plans for your pet depending on their breed, age, and weight. Also make sure you check with your vet first, before introducing your pet to a new food," she adds.
No matter how much fun it is, watching cool videos of pets all day long is not a good activity though it ensures 100% bonding with your furry baby. Iyer suggests making fun videos of your own with your pet and short strolls outdoors during the day when chances of coming in contact with people are less. One can also try obstacle courses and games for pets in the house to keep them engaged while ensuring they exercise.
Vet on Call and Vaccination
Vet consultations and vaccinations are vital things that just can't be neglected. Pandemic has transformed us into a digital world and now you can reach out to veterinarians online to get the queries answered about your pet’s health. According to her, “You can also book Vet On Call service to avoid traveling and instead have a vet visit your home to address your pet's health concern since pet healthcare, food and medicines come under essential services. Keep the vet’s contact details along with essential helpline numbers for animals in distress handy. Keep a track of your pet’s vaccination and deworming schedule and make sure that your pets are up to date with their vaccinations."
Missing on your pet’s vaccination is not an option. Understand that vaccines protect your pet from highly contagious and deadly diseases and improve the overall quality of life for your pet.
Treating with Care
As per the World Health Organisation, there is no evidence that pets can be infected with the new coronavirus. Dogs or cats cannot spread the virus. However, if droplets from an infected person happen to fall on the pet’s fur, then there are chances that a human interacting with the pet might get the virus. Don't get carried away by rumors and abandon them. For time being don't let your pets interact with people or animals outside. “Part and parcel of having a pet is also caring for them. It is important to have an emergency plan ready which includes who will take care of your pet if you fall ill. Have someone from the family or friend who can take this responsibility when the time arises.” adds Iyer.
Hygiene And Cleaning
While we maintain hygiene and follow precautionary measures, these are equally important while caring for your pet too. First and foremost, wash your hands before and after you groom or touch your pet. Clean their paws/coat with a wet cloth or with pet wipes after you come back from walks.
"If you have come back home from a trip, make sure you wash your hands with a medicated soap. Do not use sanitizer on pet’s paws or coat as most of them contain alcohol which tends to dry your pet's skin and can also cause alcohol poisoning. Keep their food and water bowls clean and serve freshwater/food at all times. Also, clean their beds or rugs and make sure you dry them thoroughly," she suggests.
The thing about pets is that they love you unconditionally. Our pets are always with us come rain or sunshine. So it is our responsibility to take care of their health and wellness. In times like these, think about helping save an innocent life by adopting a pet who needs shelter and a loving family. It is said until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.