How to look after your pets during Covid-19 Lock Down.
The spread of Covid-19 has impacted our lives in ways we would never imagine. With South Africa on lock down and our movements restricted to our homes (if you are not an essential service provider). For those of us luckily to have pets know that the confinement is affecting our pets.
At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the virus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets.- Source – World Health Organisation
Introducing my two fur babies ;
Harley our rescue cat ( The Boss) enjoys long naps, cleanliness freak who can be witnessed preening his coat, barely hides his disdain for Shumba and is a food snob. He lives by the motto of “ don’t come to me, I will come to you”. Once he has taken up residence on your lap – you are stuck there for the foreseeable future, there is no escape.
Shumba is a 6 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback, extreme extrovert and just wants to be loved. Enjoys long walks on the beach , occasional dip in the swimming pool and is our daughters shadow. She way look big and imposing but is a sweet heart and likes to be wrapped up in her bed with her cupcake blanket by 7:30pm promptly every night. Photo of Shumba
I love that they bring us so much joy. Em and Shumba are inseparable. Shumba has made the lock down bearable for Em as she always has a play mate. It is a well-known fact that pets help decrease stress levels in their owners ( I call them parents)
No more walkies!
The Lock down has made it impossible for us to take Shumba for her daily walks and run on the beach. Being a Rhodesian Ridgeback , Shumba is incredibly active and needs daily exercise. We have had to make some changes to our usual routine by factoring in play time and that she gets the mental stimulation required. Some dog breeds require mental stimulation, if they get bored they may start digging up your lawn, chewing furniture, trying to escape the confined of your property and start to exhibit other unfavourable behaviours. In extreme cases I have heard of dogs self mutilating from boredom. There are various websites and blogs that have activities to do with your dog to ensure that they get the physical exercise and mental stimulation they require. Now is a brilliant time to do house training or obedience training, as you are at home.
People could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects – and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Source – World Health Organisation
On the prowl
Cats by their very nature like to roam. Its very hard to try keep Harley confined to our property. I know for a fact he goes and visits our neighbors and eats their pets food ( Harley has had many years of weight problems – this being one of the reasons…) It is difficult to know if our cat has come into contact with a person or a surface that has been infected by Covid-19. The virus can live on various surfaces for a few hours. We have taken to washing our hands after patting Harley. I disinfect surfaces that he frequents often, such as kitchen counter tops. It is important to know that a lot of household cleaning products are toxic to cats, check if your products contain phenol. Phenol is an ingredient in many household cleaning products. Check that the products that you are using to clean your home are not toxic to your pets health, this can be done by a quick internet search will give you all the information you require.
Veterinary services are an essential service and will be open. If you animal is unwell or due for their vaccinations contact your nearest Veterinary practice. Check with your nearest practice before going to their premises, they may have different working hours and a new patient check in procedure.
There is a lot of fake news doing the rounds. Please make sure that you don’t share this fake news and spread false information. Read news from reputable news agencies and sources. If you are unsure it is best to visit the World Health Organisation for updates on the Covid-19 pandemic .
To find out the facts about Covid-19 visit the World Health Organisation site, using the below link:
Cuddle your fur-kids and Stay Safe!
Photography by : Family Tree Photography