Keeping pets occupied during COVID-19 self-isolation

COVID-19’s strict social distancing and 14-day self-isolation safety requirements have not only had an impact on humans, but also our pets. Many pets have had their daily routine disrupted with their owners suddenly working from home or staying indoors a lot more than usual. Whilst we all try to navigate how best to manage in these uncertain times, one clear positive is the opportunity to spend more quality time with our pets. To ensure your pets are keeping busy during this time indoors, there are plenty of ways you can combat their boredom and keep them occupied if you yourself are unable to leave the house.  

Set up a new daily routine

Most pets like structure and do well with a regular routine. If your usual day-to-day has been disrupted by the COVID-19 safety guidelines, such as needing to self-isolate or working from home, it’s important you try to implement and stick to a new routine for your pet. Follow their same feeding schedules, set up playtime at the same time each day and if unable to leave the house for walks, use that time to continue to keep them active with toys or fetch in the yard.

Buy stimulating toys  

Keeping your pet busy inside, especially if you’re living in a small apartment, can be tough. A great way for you to provide them solitary entertainment is to buy them some extra-stimulating toys that can help give them a physical or mental workout. Puzzle toys can keep lively dogs and cats occupied for hours and engage them with interactive play, while a more expensive option could see you invest in a ball launcher, that will have your pet playing fetch themselves while you get on with working from home.

Get them chewing

Frozen ice-cubes are an excellent source of indoor entertainment and easy on the budget. Your pet will spend hours playing, waiting for the ice to melt while you can get on with doing what you need to around the house. Chew toys are also a great way for your pet to keep busy. Better yet, this chewing activity is also great for their dental health.

Puppy school from home

Whether you’ve got a new puppy that needs to learn the basics or an older pet to upskill, teaching commands from home can also give your pet a physical and mental workout. Once your pet has the ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ commands down, you can try your hand at teaching them more advanced tricks with reward-based training. If you’ve got a more mischievous pet, now is also a great time to un-train their bad habits like chewing on furniture and barking. 

Groom your pet yourself

With so many changes happening, grooming is a great activity you can share together with your pet.  

Grooming your pet not only ensures they are kept clean, but also helps to strengthen your bond. These activities can include the standard brushing, clipping nails and brushing of teeth, or you could go the full yard and give them a proper bath, shampoo and hair clip.

Whilst the COVID-19 situation continues to change, it’s important to try to stay positive and welcome the chance to spend much more quality time alongside your pet at home. Remember too that the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) advises that the current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission, so although the virus isn’t transmissible between people and pets, continuing good hygiene practices such thoroughly washing hands before and after handling pets and their food, is essential. For more technical information on COVID-19 and pets, visit our blog here.