How to keep your pet healthy during the lockdown

Updated: Aug 18

Feeling the lockdown blues, again? For our pets, having their loving pet-parents at home is pure joy. But how can we ensure they are kept at their optimum health during these times? Many of us would have indulged in baking, cooking, lots of binge-watching, and snacks and treats. This has made all of us gain a little extra weight over the past year. As we overindulge, many of our pets are following the same.

On the other hand, our pets are not immune to this lockdown-induced emotional tolls. Pets are experts at reading the facial expressions of their pet parents, which in turn will also affect their mental health. So, if you are feeling stressed, chances are that your pet is stressed too. Individuals seeking advice for mental and physical well-being during these times have a plethora of online resources. But how can we ensure that our four-legged family member is healthy and happy during these tough times?

Below, we highlight some of the important factors that will boost your pet’s spirits and overall health during the lockdown:

Have a happy walk but don’t overwalk

Going for a walk with your furry friend is always a good way to reduce cabin fever and have some fresh air. Pets that are not familiar with the walking regime, might suffer from joint issues and stiffness. In this case, it is important to build the walking regime slowly. To make this more interesting, change the walking routine every day and always follow your pet’s pace, let them stop and sniff the lampposts and explore.

If you are someone at self-isolation or don’t have enough space for a walk, engage your pet with indoor games. Set up an indoor obstacle course and get them jumping over the chairs, under the table, and circling furniture!

Pamper your pet

With the lockdown orders in place, we all get some extra time to pamper ourselves. Along with your self-care, it is a great time to give your pets some extra care.

- Give them a better grooming experience at home. Do the basic self-care routine along with haircuts and nail trimming regularly.

- Snuggle with your pet. We all come across the face that hugs and cuddling release feel-good chemicals in the body. This is not just for human beings but also for pets. This can help to ward off loneliness, sadness, and stress.

- Switch to a pet-friendly playlist on Spotify and enjoy some music together.

Don’t skimp or overindulge in your pet’s diet

This global pandemic has made many folks unemployed or underemployed and almost everyone one of us is more conscious about spending money only on the essentials, including food for us and our pets. Even if you are getting budget-friendly food products, make sure you are feeding your pets with nutrient-rich snacks and treats. Never feed your pet with human food, even if it is a piece of chips or leftovers, as they increase their calories and might lead to digestive problems.

Give them some 'me' time

Like most of us, even our pets crave solo time to take a rest and recharge. For those times, when your pet is not in a mood to play or snuggle, create a dedicated area in your house where your pet can spend some time alone. While a lot of pets love to spend all their time with their pet parents, some of them don’t enjoy being together 24/7. Being aware and considerate of these facts could bring you closer together.

Prepare for life after lockdown

Remember that your pet feels safe and highly entertained when you are at home. When you return to your regular schedule, they might feel lonely and bored, which in turn makes them destructive. To make this easy for them, ensure that your pet is slowly reintroduced to extended time spent alone. If you have not left your pet alone since the lockdown was introduced, start by leaving your pet for a few minutes each day and then increase the time you are away. You must re-teach your pet that it is safe to be left alone and that you will always return home. If you notice your pet showing symptoms of separation anxiety, it’s advised to seek veterinary advice.

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