Dogs Are Isolating, Too. 4 Cheap Ways to Spoil Your Pet During Quarantine

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In these crazy quarantine times, you’re probably spending more time with your pets than ever. Heck, you, Sparky and Tigger are riding this thing out together!

And that can be a comfort, because our companion animals are huge stress relievers. Study after study shows pets help stave off loneliness and depression. They make us happier, period. They’re little four-legged antidepressants.

As a pet owner, it’s on you to hold up your end of the bargain. What can you do to make quarantine life a little bit better for Toby or Simba? They may need a quarantine haircut. Or more snacks, because who isn’t snacking more these days? And if you work from home, some new toys will keep them busy during your meetings.

If you don’t want to go inside a pet store to stock up on these essentials, that’s no problem. The national chain Petco is doing curbside pickup on select items at its more than 1,500 stores, and you can get your stuff within an hour or two of ordering. Also, you get a 10% discount.

You’re In the Driver’s Seat: 4 Ways to Spoil Your Pets While Social Distancing

There’s no need to let coronavirus cramp your style when it comes to taking care of Rocco and Daisy. You can get everything you need from the driver’s seat of your car.

Go to, find your items and select “I’ll Pick it Up” (when available). Place your order online and you’ll automatically get a 10% discount applied to your order for using curbside pickup.

Then, in one to two hours when it’s ready to pick up, you’ll get a confirmation email. Park outside the store and call the phone number that’s listed on your digital receipt. (The same number will also be prominently displayed outside the store.)

A store employee will appear with the goods you ordered. They can place your shopping bag in any car window you point to — or in your trunk. No muss, no fuss.

Here are four things your pet might like: 

1. Fresh and Frozen Food

Does your pet dine on Freshpet, JustFoodForDogs or Instinct pet food? Proponents say these fresh foods preserve nutrients and improve pets’ health better than canned or dry pet food.

These products are newly available for curbside pickup at Petco, and they can be difficult to find in other stores that offer similar services.

2. At-Home Grooming Tools

There’s a reason the Google search phrase “Why is grooming essential for pets?” recently spiked by 1,650% in a single week, according to the Google Trends Twitter account. A lot of pet owners are grooming their own pets these days.

Here are a few tips for grooming dogs:

  • Get a good brush, and give your dog a thorough brushing at least once a week.
  • Using a dog shampoo, bathe your dog no more than once a month. Bathing too often can strip your dog’s coat of its protective oils.
  • Invest in a good pair of doggie nail clippers. When trimming your dog’s nails, be careful to avoid the “quick,” a vein running down the center of each nail.

3. Toys!

Now that you’re working from home, your pets probably expect your constant, undivided attention. And you’re more than happy to comply — until you have an important meeting.

To keep your pets happy and occupied, grab a couple boredom-busting toys. There’s a vast selection ready for curbside pickup, including chewies, stuffies, plushies — more toys than you can shake a stick at.

4. Calming Aids

These are for pets who are having a tough time dealing with new routines or when their human parents go back to work. (Separation anxiety is real.) Pets are creatures of routine, after all.

There are more of these products than you might realize — calming drops, sprays, hemp oil, soft chews, etc. Not to mention snug-fitting anxiety jackets that are used to calm dogs who are afraid of thunder, fireworks, vet visits, travel and separation anxiety.

Whatever you — or Pumpkin or Rascal — need, you can pick up from Petco within the next two hours. Just order online, and don’t forget to snag that discount.

Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. His dog Stella DOES NOT LIKE thunderstorms.