Are you and your family going stir crazy, cooped up at home during the COVID-19 quarantine? Your pet may be enjoying the extra family time—or not, especially if naptime is interrupted—but with additional craft projects, home improvement repairs, and baking fiascos, they may be subjected to additional hazards. With your mind preoccupied with the health and well-being of your family and friends, paired with the stress of working remotely, and subbing as your children’s teacher, your furry pal may sneak into mischief.
We are working diligently to be available for any services needed during this time, whether an emergency or routine visit, and we are here for you and your four-legged family members. Help keep your pet happy and healthy during this quarantine period with the following five tips.
#1: Follow cleaning product instructions to minimize potential pet hazards
With the new coronavirus threat hanging over your head, you’re likely disinfecting every surface in sight, with every cleaning product hidden in the back of your cabinets. While proper disinfectant use is excellent, mixing chemicals or using them incorrectly can pose a threat to your pet’s health, and your own. Before spraying all your home’s door knobs, light switches, keyboards, and countertops, check to ensure your disinfectant is safe for use around pets, and follow the instructions to avoid adverse reactions.
#2: Occupy your pet in another room during home improvement projects or repairs
While another set of hands is a great help when you are sawing boards, or painting rooms, a set of paws can do more harm than help. Power tools, nails and screws, extra-strength adhesives, and paint can be hazardous to your pet’s health, if they venture too close. Many items are toxic, while others can cause intestinal obstructions or perforations, or lacerations and wounds. While you’re hard at work, give your pet their own task. Stuff a rubber Kong with their favorite canned food, peanut butter, or tuna for an impromptu snack. Since you’re already creating household items, design a food puzzle that encourages your furry pal to use their brain to find a meal. Search popular food puzzles for ideas.
#3: Check your screens for your pet’s security before opening windows
With spring approaching, and cabin fever setting in, a breath of fresh air through open windows is a welcome relief. But, before flinging your windows wide open, check the screens for security and stability, especially those on upper levels. A curious cat or dog can lean too heavily against a loose screen, and fall out the window, which can lead to broken bones or neurological trauma. Faulty window screens can also lead to life-threatening disease—mosquitoes can slip through tiny holes or tears and, with one bite, infect your pet with heartworms, which can be fatal.
#4: Ensure your child does not share snacks with your pet
During the COVID-19 threat, you likely stocked up on plenty of snacks for the family, but ensure you separate your two- and four-legged children’s snacks. When your children are enjoying grapes, raisins, chocolate, or chips, offer your pet a stuffed Kong or food puzzle to keep them occupied, and away from your kids’ toxic treats. Yeast and unbaked dough are other hazardous foods commonly encountered during quarantine. With many breads and frozen pizzas sold out, you may get the kids involved with creating and baking their own pizzas and bread, but keep a close eye on the unbaked dough, as the yeast can cause alcohol intoxication, or an intestinal obstruction, in your pet. Table food can also cause intestinal upset, because your pet’s system is not used to human foods.
#5: Monitor your children and your pet during arts and crafts time
Since you are subbing as your children’s teacher, you may turn to a variety of craft projects to keep them entertained, and exercise their artistic talent. Paintings stamped with feline or canine paw prints may be adorable and worthy of hanging on the fridge, but use caution with paints. Dogs, in particular, like to lick strange textures, and a paint puddle can be oddly appealing. Glue is another culprit in craft-related toxicity, whether a simple glue stick, or extra-strength Gorilla Glue. When your children are creating masterpieces, keep your pet busy in another part of your home, to avoid any mishaps.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for many closed businesses, we are still open, to ensure your pet receives the best of care during these troubling times. If your furry pal gets into mischief with the kids home from school, contact us. For your safety, and ours, we are allowing only pets into our hospital at this time, and when you make an appointment, we will explain our updated procedures.