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pets during COVId-19

Effects of lockdown to pets’ well-being

Australia’s leader in high quality veterinary services, Greencross Vets, warns that pets too are at risk of the mental and physical health impact of lockdowns, particularly with restrictions in movement and travel.

Greencross Vets Regional Clinical Director, Dr. Adam Sternberg, says that it is important that pet parents are alert to the changes in pets’ behaviour that may indicate they are struggling with adjusting to the new way of life.

“Just like the rest of the family, lockdown can impact pets mental and physical health due to a sudden change in environment. Pets can develop anxiety, weight issues, restlessness due to the impact of the lockdowns and change to their routine. It’s crucial that pet parents are alert to the potential impacts of lockdown on pets before small symptoms eventuate into larger health issues” he said.

Dr. Sternberg has released the top issues that Greencross Vets have seen with pets due to lockdown, as well as practical advice to ensure that pets’ health and happiness is maintained in lockdown:


“Play time is incredibly important to keep pets mentally stimulated and also to strengthen the pet and human bond. Signs of anxiety, boredom and restlessness in dogs can include digging holes, chewing objects or themselves and pacing up and down. It’s incredibly important to play with your pet regularly, particularly if you see them exhibit any of these behaviours which can lead to other behavioural issues in the longer term. The health benefits of bonding with pets are well documented so quality play time will be beneficial for the health of pets and people alike. There are some fantastic toys available that will help keep them entertained, or you can play interactive games like fetch or hide and seek. If you don’t have toys at home to keep your pup stimulated, Petbarn is open for zero-contact click and collect and also offers same day delivery.”

“Cats, and some dogs, are also at high risk of anxiety if there are more people at home than usual, particularly with kids if they are loud. Try to find them an area in the home where they can relax with less noise for part of the day if possible.”

Weight Gain

“With a restriction of exercising in your area, and dog walking services on hold, it is very easy for dogs to put on weight, particularly if they are usually quite active. Weight gain in turn, puts additional pressure on potentially arthritic joints, which is very common this time of year and makes pets lethargic and susceptible to urinary infections. Make sure you’re taking your dog for a walk daily and feed your dog extra healthy if they are getting less exercise than usual. Don’t forget pets can’t eat a lot of human foods, so if the family is eating extra takeaway in lockdown make sure your pet isn’t having any of the leftovers. If you want to cook your pet a special meal, The Nosh Project offers recipes for their human-grade, high quality pet meals on their website. With the addition of the supplement Nourish 27, these meals will have all of the nutrients your dog needs.”


“With kids at home during the day and parents extra busy with home schooling, small objects can easily be left on the ground accidentally, which we sadly saw to be the cause of increased incidence of choking and gut blockages in the last lockdowns. Be extra vigilant to keep the floor clear if you have kids at home as dogs can chew, and choke on, items such as hair elastics and toys. If you aren’t able to be constantly picking up after the kids, as many of us aren’t, it might be best to leave your pet in another room for parts of the day to keep them safe and encourage the kids to put their toys away too, which is great for parents alike!”

What to do if you’re concerned

With minimal contact across veterinary services, Greencross Vets has ramped up its 24/7 online WebVet service that allows pet parents and clients to access vet advice anytime, anywhere from the comfort of their own home. For more urgentmattersGreencross Vets around the country continue to operate for the health of pets. For emergencies, Animal Referral Hospital is open 24/7.