14 August 2021

Pets can help during lockdown, but make sure you take care of them too

| Dominic Giannini
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Woman walking her puppy

Canberrans are still able to leave home to care for their pets. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Canberrans are being reminded that they have a responsibility to care for their animals at all times, even if they are subject to lockdown requirements.

The ACT entered a seven-day lockdown from 5:00 pm on 12 August after a locally acquired case was found to have been infectious while in the community.

Under the restrictions, Canberrans can only leave their house for essential reasons, one of which includes animal welfare.

RSPCA ACT CEO Michelle Robertson said lockdown’s silver lining was that Canberrans would get to spend more time with their pets, who would love the extra attention and company.

“If you are feeling anxious about the state of the world, remember that touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress,” she said.

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“Stroking your dog, cat, or other animals can lower blood pressure and help you quickly feel calmer and less stressed. In addition, taking your dog for a walk, hike or run are fun and rewarding ways to keep healthy and manage stress.

“Studies have shown that dog owners are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements – and exercising every day is great for the animal as well. It deepens the connection between you and your pet and keeps you both fit and healthy.”

The RSPCA has reminded people subject to the lockdown that they can purchase supplies and services for their animals.

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People under stay at home orders can leave for essential shopping, including pet food and supplies, and leave home to care for animals.

People leaving the house must still abide by mask and social distancing restrictions.

Ms Robertson said Canberrans who are directed to quarantine or isolate must take their pet’s welfare into consideration.

“This means having enough pet food and any essential medications your pet may need,” she said.

“It is also a good idea to make sure that you have a temporary pet carer lined up in the event that you cannot look after your animals.

“It is important to look out for one another in this time. If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours with pets, think about safely dropping them off some pet food and treats.”

More information about how to look after your animals during the pandemic and when you are able to leave your house to care for them is available from the ACT Government.

To stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 rules in the ACT, visit Lockdown in the ACT.

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