It isn’t every day that a pandemic comes along and throws life as
we know it out the window. While the coronavirus poses different
health risks for everyone, it has changed daily routine across the
world. With school and work shut down and all “nonessential”
travel discouraged, people are feeling trapped. Maintaining a
productive routine and keeping a virtual social life makes a huge
difference. Luckily, dogs and cats cannot contract COVID-19.
If social distancing has got you feeling alone and depressed,
four legged friends are ready to be your game changer.
Working from home or having a hiatus from work brings on the
bonus of more time at home with family, including pets. If you
don’t own a pet, shelters and rescues are still operating. This
could be the perfect opportunity to welcome a new dog or cat
into your home. Most shelters are doing adoptions by appointment
only, some have the option of virtual meet and greets. If returning
to work down the road will mean no time for a pet or funds are
tight, fostering offers all the love without lifetime commitment.
The foster parent explains their household set up and time frame
available, and the shelter matches an appropriate fit. Typically,
the shelter covers food, medical, and supplies. The animal rescue
community is struggling with an influx of owner surrenders due to
fear, sickness, financial struggles, and transportation restrictions.
Some places may even have volunteer work that can be done
from your home.
If you decide to adopt or foster, or already have animals in your
home, let the fun begin! Suddenly, all those things you never had
time for are achievable. Get your dog in the tub and give him a thorough
washing, perhaps with a haircut and nail
trim. The internet has an abundance of
step by step training guides on everything
from teaching sit to playing dead to
opening doors. Some trainers may be
willing to do virtual sessions and make
things a bit more hands on. You can use
items lying around the house to set up a
backyard agility course or hide treats in
empty cardboard boxes for some nose work. If there are remote
areas where you can get away from people and take your dog for
a hike, fresh air and staying active does wonders for health. As
much as dogs may try to help with your indoor workouts, they can
sometimes make them a bit too challenging.
Taking the time to slow down and be grateful for everything,
including your pet, keeps things in perspective. Hugging and
loving on pets are proven to reduce stress. For as much as we
teach them, we learn even more in return. Taking photos and
videos of your pet and sharing them on social media may provide
others with some smiles and stress relief. It is important to take
care of ourselves and those around us as best as we can during
challenging times. While the rest of the world is shut out, pets are
thrilled you are shut in. Every negative has a positive. Focusing on
the positives and supporting each other will get us through this.