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Pet Talk Tuesday – COVID lifestyle impact on pets

Posted at 6:10 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 18:10:04-05

Dr. Reed Stevens has a couple of important notes for our pets on the impact of COVID on our pets and how our lifestyle changes have affected our pets.

Dr. Stevens says for our cat friends, either they are very annoyed that you’re here at home all the time and wish you would go back to work or they are loving it because they in your lap all day long.

He says for our canine friends it is a little more complicated because they are more social in general. They have two problems. One, for those new puppies, the challenge is that they aren’t getting the socialization opportunities that they should. He says he has seen 7, 8 and 9 month old puppies who are frightened to death by everything and that is all combated with appropriate socialization. Socialization window experts say closes at 18-20 weeks of age where it becomes not impossible but more challenging to get your puppy use to new things and new exposures.

1. Make sure you puppy is up-to-date on vaccinations.

2. Get you puppy to puppy socialization class; create socialization opportunities in neutral territory away from other people’s homes or your home. Go to a park, social distance and wear a mask for the people. Let the puppies play, let the puppies get use to each other. It is a very important thing.

3. Expose your puppy to new things. Take them to new places, for a ride, walk them in different places.

Other things they are seeing a lot of, says Dr. Stevens, is canine obesity. He says lack of exercise and even more importantly is what they eat. He says he found that the more expensive a bag of dog food is, typically the more calories they are per cup that they are fed. Look hard at the number of calories you are feeding. If your pet is overweight, you want a pet food that is between 250-350 calories per cup. Reduce the amount of food fed, go to a lower calorie food, cut back on treats, replace snacks with healthier snacks such as apples, or green beans can be added to the food. When in doubt talk to your vet.
Click here to go to the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society.