2020 has been one of the worst years in all of mankind’s history. Fortunately, though, there is a silver lining. The worst year in the history of mankind has probably been the best year in the history of doggo kind. The reason is pretty straightforward. Before COVID-19, your pooch would get to spend about 10 hours of the day with you. But following the lockdown, we began spending pretty much all day with our fur babies. And while this is great, we need to have some key takeaways from 2020 about pet care in 2021, and thus we have made a list of 6 things we need to learn about pet care in 2021.
Let us take a look:
1. Mental health
It is well known that dogs are extremely intuitive and empathetic when it comes to dealing with human emotions. This is essentially why dogs make for the best emotional support animals for war veterans and other people who need them. But not many people are aware that while they are adept at helping us to keep our mental health issues at bay, they are often victims of poor mental health too. One of the most predominant issues that most pet dogs face is that of separation anxiety. What this essentially means is that your pooch has a fear of you or his beloved person, leaving him or being away from him for long periods of time.
The first thing to understand is that dogs can be victims of issues like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and the likes of such mental illnesses. This happens because of negligence or poor training habits based on extreme fear and punishment.
In 2021, as pet parents, let’s take an oath to care for our pooch’s mental health as much as they care for ours. If you feel that your dog is going through some form of mental illness, here are some ways you can make your dog happy and shower them with love and compassion, and consult a vet about how it can be dealt with effectively.
This has consistently been one of the most pressing questions throughout 2020. Can our pets get COVID-19 or not? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t in black and white as we would have hoped. The fact is that initially, scientists claimed that animals aren’t affected by the virus. However, a few months into the pandemic, news of a tiger being infected by it in a zoo in the USA and a number of pets being tested Covid positive across the world has flooded the news. Naturally, this put scientists in a predicament about their earlier claim of the virus not affecting animals.
Due to the pressing nature of the pandemic, and the rising death toll in humans, no research was dedicated to the effect of the virus in animals specifically. This is why science has come up short in answering the question of the virus’s effect on animals. Nonetheless, the Center for Disease Control of the USA, while claiming that it is unlikely for a virus to affect animals in a general sense, preaches caution when playing or petting animals that belong to other households. If, as a pet parent, you want to be absolutely sure of your pooch’s health, a few veterinarians offer COVID-19 test facilities for dogs. Do consult your vet regarding any queries you may have about the health of your pet.
3. Obesity and other health issues
The pandemic made it clear that issues like obesity and arthritis-like health issues are, not only cause for concern in humans but also animals. Owing to being cooped up within the walls of our houses, we could not really exercise or make our pets exercise. If you have a small pet like a bunny or hamsters, then ensuring your pet’s physical health is not very difficult. However, if you own a dog, these difficulties become apparent.
The first thing to know in this regard is that obesity brings a host of other health issues in dogs such as bone and joint issues or even worse, systemic issues. This is why it is utterly crucial to keep obesity at bay and here are some best tips to deal with obesity in dogs.
If you cannot step out of your house, consider investing in a treadmill and training your dog to jog on it. If you have enough space, playing fun games like catch and chase not only ensures your pooch’s physical health and well-being but also ensures that you spend quality bonding time with them.
Also See: How To Take Care Of Your Dog In Heat
4. Healthy food without compromising on taste
Imagine eating the same type of kibble day in and day out without any variation or stimulation of your taste buds. Would you derive any sort of actual satisfaction value from such eating? Well, neither would your pet. It is extremely important to keep your dog’s taste buds satisfied for two primary reasons –
a) Nutritious food is of extreme importance to ensure your pet’s health and quality of life. However, if your pet loses its appetite due to a lack of variety in its daily diet, it will miss out on quality nutrients essential for good health. And for that, we have some amazing mouth-watering homemade dog food recipes that worth a try.
b) Food is a major part of most living organisms’ lives. For many, it is a source of enjoyment and delight. Your pet should not miss out on deriving this enjoyment from its daily diet either. Unfortunately, most animals do not have a long lifespan. This is why as pet parents, it becomes our responsibility to ensure a life filled with minor as well as major joys that ultimately make its life a fulfilling one.
Having said that, it is not very difficult to ensure your pet gets nutritious food that is also tasty. Try incorporating different foods (which are permitted for your pet) like chicken, carrots, pulses, and keep switching it up every once in a while.
Often an overlooked aspect of having a pet, training is extremely crucial to ensure that you form an everlasting bond with your pet while ensuring that your pet can live comfortably in the environment you do. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean training in the sense that your dog must be able to get you a beer bottle from the fridge or do the math. No. I simply mean that your pet must be able to comprehend what you ask of it and take action accordingly. For example, if you prefer walking your dog without a leash, you must have a strong callback command to ensure that your dog does not stray or go into places it needs to avoid. And if you really want your dog to fetch you a beer can from the fridge, then you better look at these advanced dog training tips
6. Go easy on the packaged treats but not on the love
Most people make the mistake of giving their pets materialistic things or edible items to somehow compensate for the lack of emotional engagement with their pets. However, for multiple reasons, this is a terrible idea. To begin with, most pre packaged treats are made of upcycled materials. This essentially means that it is food made of waste ingredients that could not be used anywhere else. They aren’t exactly great for your pets. A nibble every now and then is alright but like with everything else, moderation is key. But if you still like to consider treats for training, etc. like purposes then here are some trending dog treats that can turn every dog’s mouth into Niagra Falls.
Second, nothing in the world can replace the emotional connection you have with your pet. As a sincere pet parent, I would urge you to not even consider bringing home a pet unless you are certain that you can dedicate time and quality attention to your pet. Most pets are ultimately all about the emotion you invest in them and it plays a very important role in their mental welfare.
Let’s try to incorporate these factors in our pet care regimens to ensure that our pets have fulfilling and happy lives with us and that we are on the top of our game as pet parents in 2021.
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