The 2020 coronavirus (or COVID-19) pandemic clearly isn’t going away any time soon. And let’s be honest. It sucks. It’s been hard on all of us, our friends, families, and communities. But what about our furry friends? It’s time to consider how coronavirus lockdowns, quarantine, and social distancing might be affecting them too.  They’re always there for us – so what can we do to ensure our dogs and cats stay safe, healthy, and happy during these challenging times? Our 8 tips for caring for your dog or cat through the lockdown are a good place to start. They might even help you!

1. Keep calm and carry on

For some, the coronavirus lockdown may be a time of stress, fear, anxiety, and worry. If you’re feeling all that, chances are, your pets will feel it too. So our #1 tip is to try to stay calm and positive during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Even in lockdown, look on the bright side: You now likely have more time to spend with your pet!

And just maybe, the coronavirus situation can show us what’s important in life – spending time with loved ones, staying safe, and enjoying the moments we do have together. So keep calm and carry on. If you’re positive and relaxed, your furry friend will feel that too. And that can do wonders for their well-being.

💡 To help calm your mind, get outdoors daily, exercise regularly, and consider a new active hobby such as yoga or meditation.

2. Aim for extra quality time, cuddles and belly rubs

As we mentioned, one benefit of the lockdown is that you’ll likely have more time to spend with your dog or cat. However, they might also be confused due to sensing more anxiety in their humans, changing schedules and routines, and less social contact in general. So take extra good care of them and spend quality time with your dog or cat daily.

Just taking a few extra minutes to cuddle and reassure your pet – while having your morning coffee, or before you go to bed – can have a big impact on your furry friend’s well-being and safety. Spending quality time together will also improve your well-being and reduce fear in dogs. Don’t be afraid to try new things while spending time together, such as a session of doga (a.k.a. dog yoga)!

3. Make time for more physical activity

If you’re stuck at home – as many of us are during quarantine or coronavirus lockdowns – you might  notice you’re getting less exercise daily. And that can have a negative impact on your physical health. For your furry friend, it’s no different. Have a cat? Consider increasing their roaming space or time. As for dogs, they need their daily walks now more than ever. Find out how often you need to walk your dog here.

If you live in Germany, it may even soon be legally required to walk your dog for a minimum of one hour each day.

Woman in yellow coat and boots and small dog walking through forest in fall during coronavirus lockdown

Whether indoors, on a leash or roaming free, we recommend investing in a GPS dog or cat tracker for increased security and peace of mind during the lockdown. Not only will it show you your pet’s location at anytime, it will also monitor their physical activity. This way, both you and your furry friend will be sure to stay in shape during the coronavirus lockdown.

Discover Tractive GPS

4. Maintain good health and regular grooming

Another crucial topic during the pandemic is staying healthy – free of sickness and in good physical shape. While you are taking all the steps necessary to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus, consider your dog or cat as well.

Since the latest research has confirmed that pets can also get coronavirus, you may want to take extra precautions to keep your dog or cat healthy. For example:

  • Make sure they’re getting enough rest – Tractive’s Activity Monitoring feature can help you keep track.
  • Feed them a balanced diet and consider (after consulting your vet, of course!) immunity-boosting supplements.
  • Clean them when they may have come in contact with a sick person or animal.

Don’t skip out on your dog or cat’s important health care routines. You can do the following to ensure your dog or cat stays in good health:

5. Keep your pet stimulated

Like you, your dog or cat may suffer from boredom if the coronavirus lockdown has affected their usual social life and activity. So it’s more important now than ever to keep your dog or cat mentally stimulated. Try puzzle games or feeders, offer different types of toys, explore new territory on your walks, and find out what will keep your pet busy and satisfied. It might be an electronic mouse for your cat, or a new chew toy for your dog.

6. Get stocked up

Since times are unpredictable, use this opportunity to stock the pantry with any necessary supplies for your furry friend. This might include dog or cat food, treats, grooming items, flea/tick treatments, and medications. That way, you won’t have to stress if a sudden change of plan or store closing prevents you from getting your dog or cat’s essentials. But while shopping, avoid hoarding; you’ll want to ensure there are enough for other pet parents as well!

7. Ask for help 

These times are tough for all of us, and you can’t always manage everything alone. Yes, you want to take care of your furry friend as best possible, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail to live up to your own expectations.

Ask for help from others. For example, if you’re feeling sick, see if a neighbor or friend can walk the dog while you rest. Need help with shopping, or getting your cat to the vet? Find someone who is willing to be there to support you and your dog or cat family members during this difficult time. Know that you don’t have to manage it all alone. We’re in this together!

8. Be kind to yourself

While the lockdown might seem like the perfect occasion to get more things done, don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t manage to do everything you planned.  Maybe you want to boost your productivity, finally put together that family photo album, read all those books that have been piling up, start a new running routine with your furry buddy, or start making more homemade food for your loved ones. If you’re trying and not getting everything done that you’ve been meaning to, you’re not flawed; you’re human.

Be kind to yourself. Your dog or cat will love you no matter what, whether you’ve got a six-pack during the lockdown or put on six pounds.

Conclusion: caring for pets during the coronavirus lockdown

While the tips above were written with your furry friend in mind, they’re also wonderful tips for how you can stay keep your mind and body healthy during the coronavirus lockdown. So take a few deep breaths, enjoy quality time with your loved ones, get some physical activity, remember to take care of your health and grooming, and stock up on anything else you might need to help you get you through.

We’ll be here with you, supporting you and your furry friends throughout the good times, and the bad.

Considering getting a dog or cat during lockdown? Check out our first time dog-owner’s guide or this checklist for new cat parents.