Keeping Pets (And Yourself) Entertained Inside During Covid-19
By Dr. Robyn Johnson, Veterinarian
Currently we are experiencing a shelter in place order due to Covid-19. We are limited to what we can do outside including our four-legged friends. There is still plenty of things you can do indoors to keep pets (and ourselves) healthy, entertained and out of trouble.
Cats can enjoy a number of indoor activities. For some cats a simple balled piece of paper in a bathtub can provide hours of entertainment. There are several indoor activity pieces that are quite reasonable in price. Appropriate scratching posts with additional toys like balls on tracks help keep Kitty’s pouncing skills sharp.
Dogs can also enjoy numerous indoor activities. A quick game of find the treats helps keep Fido’s nose sharp as they search for yummy goodness. Simple games of tug of war can be used to keep your dog entertained. Even the old-fashioned shell game can keep your dog guessing. Kong toys stuffed with treats can help burn off nervous energy.
You can keep your furry friend entertained inside. Not only does it burn off energy but you get to have quality fun time with your best friend. Please talk with your veterinarian about the best treat options for your pet and get to playing.
During this time there are questions on if the virus can be passed between pets and humans. The CDC and veterinary colleges are gaining information at a rapid pace. Currently there have only been 4 documented cases of pets testing positive. None of the pets were sick and all lived with owners who were positive for Covid-19 themselves. So, it is currently thought that the pets tested positive because they lived in an environment that was positive.
Recently there were large cats at the Bronx Zoo who were cared for by a positive caretaker. These cats were tested by several veterinary labs for the virus (no human tests were used for testing the tiger). The cats were showing signs of upper respiratory illness and all are expected to recover.
At this point we would like to mention that every species from humans, to dogs to cats have their own versions of a coronavirus. These viruses stay within species. With current information we have not seen any transmission from pets to human. It is recommended that if you are ill, quarantine yourself from household members including pets. If a pet has been in a contaminated environment bathe the pet before taking it to a new environment. This is done out of abundance of caution.
If you have any questions about coronavirus and pets, feel free to message us on the Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital Facebook page and as always, we are open 24/7/365 for pet emergencies.