Pets are the stars of the new social-distancing life that we are negotiating amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. From dog videos as stressbusters to brightening up a video call session or even having someone to talk to while self-isolating, pets are helping us cope with the new ‘normal’.
Current research shows it is highly unlikely that coronavirus can be transmitted between humans and pets or from one pet to another. However, here are some points to keep in mind during this time...
1) Nutrition: Ensure that each pet receives the nutrition that his or her health needs (this is especially for pets that have a special veterinary diet).
2) Activity: As you spend more time at home, make sure that each pet gets the exercise it needs. Find new ways to play inside – feeding puzzles and toys can stimulate your pet’s mind and exercise his/her body.
3) Walking with pets: Make sure your dog is walked outside, keeping government’s guidelines in mind. When walking, practise ‘social distancing’ with other people and animals. Clean up after, and maintain hygiene.
4) Hygiene with your pets: Always practise good hygiene and proper hand-washing techniques when handling pets. Call your veterinarian if you have any concerns for the health of your pets.
5) Plan ahead: If you need to be separated from your pet for a period of time, make plans for his or her ongoing safety and care.
— The writer is a veterinarian (BVsc & AH)
If you have queries related to managing pets during the lockdown, for example, if you can take your pet for a walk, if vet clinics are allowed to operate, etc., send us your queries on www.toilockdownfaqs.com. We will seek answers from relevant authorities. Please keep your questions brief.