As social distancing has become our new way of life these past few weeks, our four-legged family members have quickly adapted to their new schedules of more belly rubs, playtime and of course, more treats! But, with no end date in sight, how can we ensure that our pets remain healthy? Here are some of our best tips:
First and foremost, we need to keep our pets active. Just like us, that morning walk around the block before the workday will help your pup release energy. Also, make sure you take a well-deserved break from your computer, and do an activity with your dog that will keep them calm in the interim. If the weather isn’t in your favor or lock-downs now mean you are both housebound, another great option is to simply play a quick game of fetch or ball every few hours. If there’s no space to toss a ball inside, even a quick game of tug of war helps get out extra energy.
Choose The Right Treats
If your pantry is more stocked up than usual with their favorite foods, it is equally important to remember that if you are giving them extra treats each day, that you choose the right treats and keep the amount in check. Puppy dog eyes or a purring cat at your feet (we didn’t forget you cat parents!) undoubtedly makes it very tempting to offer treats numerous times a day. But remember, just like us, we must be mindful not to overtreat. Not only could this cause your dog or cat to gain a few pounds, but it could also lead to a digestive upset.
Make sure you are choosing the right treats. Select only natural, healthy ingredients like those found in Old Mother Hubbard biscuits for dogs and Wellness Kittles for cats. These all-natural treats are made with real, whole food ingredients that are gently baked into a delicious crunchy treat that dogs and cats love. In fact, so many pets love Old Mother Hubbard treats and Wellness Kittles, they are both the #1 Natural Crunchy Treat in Pet Specialty stores!
Keep treats to just a small portion of your dog’s daily consumption – an easy rule of thumb is to make sure the total volume of treats is just 10% of their total daily intake.
Keep Them Busy
Rather than just giving your pet treats because they are so cute, use the treats in an activity or puzzle ball to capture dogs’ attention while you’re on work calls. A fun idea is to put peanut butter and Old Mother Hubbard treats in a Kong!
Another idea is to use a long-lasting, multi-functional chew like WHIMZEES. WHIMZEES are all-natural daily dental treats, which will not only keep your dog chewing 3X longer than competitor chews, but they will also have the added benefit of cleaning their teeth 2X better as well! They’ll love it, and best of all, you’ll know that your pup is tackling dental disease, the number one health issue in dogs.
Give Them That Extra Love
While our pets are undoubtedly loving having us home, the benefits for us are equally invaluable. Clinical studies have proven time and time again that pets enhance our lives. They ensure we get up and get moving, they help lower our heart rate, lower our blood pressure, increase the levels of a stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease the production of the opposite hormone, cortisol, that increases stress. So make sure you take the time to show your pet extra physical affection, like a belly rub or head scratch. You will get the benefit of a tail wag or gentle purr from them, as well as the added help of a calming influence in your life. This is especially beneficial to help ease our anxiety related to being cooped up for long periods of time.
Create a New Co-Worker
As you set up your new “work from home” space, placing your pet’s favorite toy, blanket or bed near your work space can help keep them close by. This will not only ensure their cameo in your next work video conference to the delight of your coworkers, but it also will provide the perfect chance for you to talk to your pets, as much as you’d like. During a period of time when you aren’t chatting with people the same way that you would in an office, talk to your pets! It’s as good for them as it is for you, especially in a solitary time.
Looking for more COVID-19 friendly pet activities?