When Pets Pick Up On Our Anxiety – Ways to Help Alleviate Pet’s Stress
The way that people work and interact with each other has suddenly changed during the COVID-19 crisis. Days of spending hours at work while your pet naps away on the couch are gone, at least for now. Social distancing while trying to maintain a career and worrying about the future is enough to cause everybody some anxiety. What happens when your pet starts to get stressed out too? Here are a few tips from the experts to help you and your best friend deal with these stressful times.
- Exercise is more important now than ever. For dogs in particular, getting out for a long walk (or two) can go a long way to helping reduce their stress. In most places, there are exceptions to lockdowns and quarantines for dog walks, take advantage of that for your pet and yourself. Be careful while you are out, make sure you maintain space from other people and follow your local guidelines for social distancing. This includes avoiding dog parks as these are places where lots of people tend to congregate.
- Find ways to engage their minds during the day. There are lots of great ways to get your dog or cat to use their brains, one of the best is food puzzles. Start by giving just a small portion of his or her daily food consumption in food puzzles. After a few days your pets will want to get all of their food in these fun games. Another great way to get the brain going is to hide food throughout your home for your pets to find, this will keep them stimulated and keep their belly full. In addition to food related engagement, look for other things that keep your pet entertained like toys and games or consider some of their favorite indoor activities.
- Try a behavioral supplement. Many supplements are derived from natural ingredients and do not cause drowsiness. We recommend Zylkene, the key ingredient (alpha-casozepine) is derived from milk and is proven to help reduce pets’ stress naturally. It is available online without a prescription from a Vet and has no contraindications with other medicine. Supplements like Zylkene work with your pet’s body to help them better cope with stresses. It can be used for a short duration during stressful times, or can be used long-term if needed.
Regardless of your situation, the current COVID-19 crisis in America has impacted every person, and our pets recognize that things are different too. As pet parents, it is our job to help our four legged friends out when we can. By helping them cope with the stress they will help us handle it better and in doing this we will strengthen the bonds with our pets during these trying times.
Taking Your Animal for a Vet Visit During the COVID-19 Crisis – What You Need to Know
Maybe your pet isn’t feeling so well, or is due for a critical vaccination that just can’t wait, what should you do? The good news is that most local governments have declared that veterinarians are essential businesses and many are open. If you have an appointment already scheduled, or need one, you should call the office first. Discuss your options with the vet staff, like postponing elective procedures or ordering supplies online. Many Animal Hospitals have their own online pharmacies to supply crucial medications, check with your clinic to find out how best to get medicine and supplies while they might not be accepting patients. Additionally, many veterinary procedures require medical supplies that are in high demand right now (like masks, surgical scrubs, gloves, and disinfectants), postponing your vet visit could free up supplies that are desperately needed in hospitals.
If you and your vet decide that the visit needs to happen expect the visit to go a little differently than some others in the past. In fact, it might not be a visit at all, just recently the organization that oversees and regulates vets, the United States Food and Drug Administration, has allowed telemedicine for Veterinarians during social-distancing orders. Telemedicine usually uses video conferencing with a provider in place of an actual office visit. Many veterinarians are enacting telemedicine policies to limit human to human contact, and even some are requiring telemedicine before a pet can come in the office for non-emergency issues.
If telemedicine is not an option, expect new policies and procedures at the animal clinic, these may include a ban from humans coming in. Some offices are telling humans to call when they arrive at the office and having office staff come out and get the pet from the car. This limits the amount of human to human contact and hopefully will limit the spread of COVID-19. Now, more the ever it is important to establish a good working relationship with your pet’s doctor. Clear communication and trust will limit the number of unnecessary procedures, but also keep your pet safe and healthy in this uncertain time.