Like their human owners, our four-legged furry friends have been rolling with the punches for much of 2020, as Melbourne endures yet another seemingly endless lockdown. It's no surprise that just like us, they've been indulging in some tasty treats and other vices to get through the long days at home. And who can blame them! In fact, a study by Banfield Pet Hospital in the United States conducted way back in May found that 33% of dog owners feel their pet gained weight during home iso, a figure that's probably risen here given the long timeframe we've been doing this.
So how to keep your dog healthy and in good shape during these strange times is no doubt something's that's crossed your mind. Here's a few handy tips from The Pets Hotel team with a strong focus on cultivating a delicious diet:
- Stay up-to-date on vet visits: Good dog health begins with the bare basics – making sure your pet is de-sexed, microchipped and up-to-date with all their necessary vaccinations. That's why it pays to maintain regular vet visits, especially in times of stress like that we're currently living through. Veterinary clinics are considered an essential service and therefore still open. RSPCA have a number of quality clinics across Melbourne.
- StIck to set meal times to maintain routine: While many of us have been working in our PJ’s until midday (or all day in some cases) and staying up late binge-watching Netflix, trying our best to maintain a regular daily routine is vital. Our furry friends will also benefit from keeping that structure in their lives, and there’s no better way to achieve that then through sticking to set mealtimes – a distinct feed once or twice a day (depending on your dog’s size, age and bred) at the same time(s) every day.
- Keep up those regular daily walks: One of the easiest ways to maintain good dog health and burn off those excess iso kilos is to keep taking them for a daily walk – a ritual made that much easier by all the time we’ve been spending at home. Regular walks are also a great way to de-stress (for both owner and furry friend alike) and help you both relax better in the evening, another important ingredient for keeping in good shape. However, if you’re an essential worker who isn’t at home for the 9-5, don’t forget our Doggy Daycare facilities are still open for business at both our locations, where we’ll make sure your best friend gets their daily walk and plenty of essential exercise!
- Work out how much your dog actually needs to eat: It sounds so obvious but working out how much food to feed your dog is key to keeping them in good shape and warding off those excess kilos. The amount and type of dog food they need will of course depend on their size and age – with smaller dogs needing less food and bigger dogs tending to need much more. As with many things pet-related, the RSPCA have a great guide on what you should feed your dog and how much here.
Don’t forget to treat them, but make it an occasion! Last but not least, don’t forget to treat your furry friend on occasion for their loyal companionship during these tough times, their adorable, unscripted moments that bring a smile to your face and make your day that much brighter, and for their own perseverance living through lockdown. The trick is to make those treats an event worth waiting for – to not only keep their health in check but also to train their patience, one of the most valuable traits of all!
Despite the second lockdown, The Pets Hotel in Melbourne is open for business as usual for those who need our Doggy Daycare services. Meanwhile, The Pets Hotel Country Club in semi-rural Lara is outside the lockdown zone. Keen to learn more about us and our services? Contact the friendly Pets team on (03) 9646 3696 and (03) 5282 1286!