Are you living in quarantine because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus? That means that your four-foot fluffy friend is staying home with you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not have any evidence that household pets could receive or transmit COVID-19. There was only one global case where a 17-year old dog in Hong Kong had received and recovered from the virus and then died the next day after he returned to his female owner, who had also positively tested and recovered from the virus. The CDC implored that pet owners who were ill (not just with the virus) not interact with their household pets. Then on April 23, the CDC received the call that two cats in New York were positively tested for COVID-19!
I call this unique period of our lives the ‘isolation era’. Globally, people are required and even forced by their governments and armies to stay home to prevent the spread of this deadly virus that has taken almost 3 million people in just a couple of months. Now, we have received the unfortunate news that we can be toxic to our pets.
In this uncertain time, we can take the opportunity to spend time with our loved ones and learn what is the meaning of family. The simple definition of family is a group of individuals who share a genetic or a legal bond, however, these people can share a far more important bond. They can share goals, values, memories, and purpose for life.
That is why we must share the best of ourselves with them and give the best quality that they deserve. In the scope of family, the pets add an extra element of responsibility. They can be considered as a replacement or extra child, so do they not also deserve the best during the ‘isolation era’?
Blue Buffalo is the #1 Best Dog Food Brand in 2020 according to My Pet Needs That, and Dog Food Advisor’s Editors Choice top ten small breed dog foods in April 2020. Just look at Blue Buffalo Divine dog food cups for small breed dogs that have two salivating flavors – Filet mignon and NY strip. Think of going to your favorite restaurant, museum, or movie theatres (we will all go back eventually). Now consider your dog’s wish list – what would they want to eat, in their dreams?
Cats can play with string, a feather, or the mouse that runs back and forth between your oven and couch (note: this might derive from a real story). Dogs can usually find anything in the house to play with, such as a ball, an old sofa cushion, or something that makes noise. Anything living in captivity, such as your pet rat, snake, hamster, guinea pig, or fish, should have something to entertain them in their cage or aquarium.
This is arguably the best time in a dog’s life, so make it the best. Fetch. Tug of war. Racing (with your children or your other dogs). Using water from a hose, sprinkler, etc. Get creative.
It is that time of day. Head up. You grab their leash, which already has an attached poop bag container. Perk ears. You walk to the door. Oh, they’re ready. You call their name. RUN. Your dog is so excited when the time of their daily walk(s) arrives. You can make it a regular walk around the neighborhood, or an adventure! Going counter-clockwise instead of the regular clockwise motion around the neighborhood. Pausing to smell the flowers. Exploring the local park or visiting that puppy that your dog has a crush on. New sights, new smells, new trails. Just as you want to experience new things that you never had time to or to keep away from boredom, your dog should also have that opportunity.
Since you are home 24/7, your pet might want a little extra attention, such as pets, massages, hugs, cuddles. You need this touch, as well as they do since human loneliness stems from a lack of physical and social interaction that we miss and crave these days.
In conclusion, it is easy to treat your pet like family. With food, toys, playtime, daily walks, and care, your heart will smile and your need for touch and routine might be met. Your family deserves the best and so do your household pets, so why not treat them as part of the family?