Coping in Crisis

COVID-19 has changed the lives of people around the world. Some claim it's mass hysteria and the virus is no big deal; others claim the only way to stop disastrous spread is through "social distancing". Hue and I talked about it this morning. If there are very few deaths in the United States, will everyone claim it was all scare mongering and we didn't need to cancel sports, school classes, university attendance, travel, and social gatherings? On the other hand, maybe a low number of deaths will be counted because we are isolating ourselves. Only time will tell.

We are being told to have enough supplies on hand just in case we need to self-isolate if someone in our household catches the virus. Having two weeks of food and medications on hand is not a bad idea in any event. Hue and I love to eat fresh produce and fresh meats. Our freezer is empty most of the time, except for frozen raw dog food in the dogs' freezer and ice in ours for martinis :)

We do not eat processed food that comes in a bag, box, or can. This is great for our overall health day-to-day, but it makes it difficult if you need to stock up for weeks at a time. Hue generally goes to the grocery store, butcher, or produce market at least five times a week. I've been begging him to stock up with at least two weeks' of staples, but it has been difficult to convince him to change his way of preparing meals. (Yes, we are very lucky - Mom and I have our own personal chef!)

I finally convinced him we needed to stock up, but when we headed to the market to buy fresh food today he reminded me we will be traveling starting Wednesday and only needed food for five days. So we still get to eat fresh, at least for now.

I received an e-mail from a friend asking what she can do to feed her dogs since she cooks meals for them using fresh foods. When she went to the market, there was no meat! I am totally amazed at the rush on groceries and TOILET PAPER (what the heck is up with that??). I understand when a blizzard is coming we all stock up on eggs, milk, and bread (for snow-day French toast is my guess). But I haven't figured out the toilet paper thing...

Anyway, if you are having trouble finding fresh foods to prepare meals for your pets and don't have much stored in your freezer, I have a few recommendations. You might want to buy online quality brands that you can trust. Freeze-dried food is not heavy to ship and has long storage capabilities. I suspect online suppliers will be able to continue shipping product, for the most part. There are many reputable brands available. Some of my favorites include Primal, Small Batch, Open Farm, Raised Right, and Vital Essentials, but there are many others out there. 

Frozen raw or gently cooked foods can also be ordered online and delivered right to your door. Most of the freeze-dried companies also make frozen food. My favorite for home delivery is AllProvide; they have raw and gently cooked foods. If you can't find meat in the stores, try ordering from Hare Today; they have many varieties of meat and organs that you can use to prepare food for your dogs.

Your local pet store may also be willing to deliver. If you have a local favorite, ask if they have a delivery service or if they are making any changes during this time of social distancing.

If you are worried about feeding frozen or freeze-dried raw, kibble can be used in a pinch. I would look for high quality brands such as Farmina, Carna4, Nulo, Zignature, Rawble, Rawz, or Nature's Logic. I am not a fan of feeding kibble long term, but if you are in a pinch, these would get you through for a few weeks. Be sure to provide lots of moisture; add fresh food toppers if possible. Many of these companies also make canned foods which are cooked at lower temperatures, provide more meat protein, and are much higher in moisture.

Make sure you have plenty of medications on hand for your pets, especially if they have chronic medications that they cannot do without, such as pets with heart disease. We have no way of knowing if medication shortages will occur in the next few months. Ask the staff at your veterinary office if they are willing to ship medications if you are unable to leave your home. We ship herbs, supplements, and medications daily from our office.

Most veterinary offices will remain open unless we are told we must shut our doors. Animals still need care and we plan to keep them as healthy as possible. I know in my office we are cleaning, spraying, wiping, and sanitizing all day long to provide as clean an environment as possible for anyone that visits. We provide hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial soap for hand washing for staff and clients. Staff members that are sick are asked to stay at home.

Stay safe. Stay sane. Hug your pets, play with your pets, let your pets keep you grounded. They are a great source of comfort in times of uncertainty and anxiety. Your pets cannot contract or spread this particular coronavirus - feel free to hug them!

Photo by visuals on Unsplash