(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
While everyone across the country is following stay-at-home orders and stocking-up on household essentials, it is important for pet parents to plan for their pets too. Dr. Ruth MacPete, aka Dr. Ruth “The Pet Vet,” shares her checklist of pet essentials to help pet parents ensure that their pets have what they need during the COVID pandemic.
“The COVID crisis has made buying groceries and supplies harder for everyone. Pet parents need to remember to plan for their pet’s needs during these challenging times,” says Dr. Ruth.
There is nothing more essential than food. While there are no current shortages in pet food, COVID has impacted our typically easy access to food supplies. People are following stay-at-home orders and making fewer trips to the store. Even online shopping has been impacted as a surge in demand has overwhelmed delivery services. Pet parents should plan for these disruptions by ensuring that their pets have an enough food to last for at least two weeks. Plan ahead and don’t wait until the food is almost out.
The same principles apply to medications and supplements. While veterinary clinics remain open, it is best to minimize errands as much as possible. For critical prescription medications like insulin and heart medications, make sure you do not run-out by either ordering refills weeks in advance, or keeping a surplus supply to last a few. The same is true for medications that impact quality of life, such as flea and heart preventatives, arthritis medications, and nutritional supplements.
Fortunately for cats, toilet paper shortages do not apply to cat litter. However, running out of litter would be a disaster, especially during the quarantine. In order to avoid this messy situation, make sure to buy at least a month’s supply. Cat litter does not expire and can be stored indefinitely.
With non-essential shops like barbershops and hair salons being closed, many of us are resorting to cutting and coloring our hair at home. The same holds true for pet groomers. Make sure you order grooming supplies, like clippers and scissors, and grooming products, like pet shampoo, to keep your pets clean and looking great. While it might be tempting to use your own shampoo on your pet, human shampoos can dry out your pet’s skin and coat. It is always best to use a shampoo made specifically for pets. VetDerm Solutions Super Hydrating & Conditioning Pet Shampoo contains shea butter, aloe, oatmeal and green tea to cleanse, hydrate and soothe your pet’s skin.
The quarantine is making everyone a little cabin crazy. Although our pets are enjoying having us at home, they are missing going to the dog park and getting exercise. Besides taking your dog out for a walk, consider buying new interactive toys or chew to keep your pets engaged and busy. In pets, boredom can lead to chewy and other destructive behavior.
The COVID pandemic has been an eye-opening experience. Besides highlighting the vulnerabilities of our economy and healthcare system, it has exposed how ill-prepared most of us are for emergencies. The COVID pandemic is a good reminder to be better prepared for future emergencies, and of course, to include your pets in your plans.
For more pet health tips go to www.DrRuthPetVet.com/pet-tips.
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)