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Veterinarian shares ways to establish a routine, minimize anxiety with pets during COVID-19

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Posted at 7:14 AM, Apr 08, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. — COVID-19 closures have shaken up our routines. We’re spending more time at home and might be working from there, too. So what does that mean for our dogs who’ve gone from companion to coworker?

“All pet parents want their dog to be happy and healthy, and I think we can absolutely testify that every dog that’s now got his family members home is most definitely happier with all those belly rubs and all those extra treats,” said Dr. Danielle Bernal, a veterinarian with Wellness natural pet food. “But I think when we look at keeping them healthy, we want to make sure that we do keep a routine in there for them.”

Dr. Danielle says there are a few things to keep in mind for your dog’s routine. First, keep up with some form of daily exercise. Second, make sure they’re eating healthy food — quality protein and moderate fat. And third, don’t forget about their mental health, aside from all those extra cuddles and pats.

“Add in something like a puzzle ball or a long-lasting dental chew. That’s going to make sure that these dogs are getting lots of activity as well as some love during the time of quarantine,” she said.

Dr. Danielle says our pets can do a lot to help us battle anxiety.

“Scientific studies have continually shown that pets can lift our mood, can make us feel less anxious and even 75 percent of pet parents say, when they’re with their pet, they naturally feel considerably less stressed,” she said.

And if you’re thinking of a parent or grandparent during this difficult time, Dr. Danielle says, if they have a pet, you can find comfort in that.

“The great thing to remember here is that if they’re with their pet, 81 percent of them will feel less lonely during that stage,” she said. “If they’ve got their pet, that’s going to help boost their mood as well.”

To learn more about Wellness natural pet food, click here.