April 7, 2020. By Lori Patterson:
Sudden changes in your normal schedule and routine can be stressful, and even a bit annoying, especially for prolonged periods of time. With many of us required to work remotely in the current circumstances, some people are noticing odd behaviors from their pets. Although our pets are very likely to love the extra attention, the sudden and often chaotic family and household adjustments can create uncertainty and confusion for them. Suddenly, their spaces on the sofa are taken, exercise schedules are sporadic, and dinner time seemingly comes a couple of times a day now as we prepare our lunches and our snacks from home. Further, we know our pets can sense our frustrations and anxiety.
If you notice your pet’s personality changing, or if you are hoping to avoid any negative effects of this new-found quality time together, maintaining a set schedule can help. Being consistent with their day can help them remain steady and calm. Respecting your pet’s space and time can help reduce stress and anxiety for them as well.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly what they need and finding a balance of an appropriate level of exercise and attention can be a challenge We may personally need a couple of walks or short runs a day to feel our best, but it may not be the best course for our dogs depending on breed. Suddenly increasing their exercise routine can be overstimulating, confusing, and even stressful for them since going outside can now require extra baths or cleaning, as well as increase appetite. While trying to balance their new needs with yours, it’s hard to determine exactly how much exercise and mental stimulation they really need. Adding to that, being mindful of overfeeding your pets during this transitional time can help with weight control and continued good health, especially if you like to give them a little taste every time you eat. As we try to work towards normalcy while adjusting to revised schedules, we’ve offered a few helpful links provided by veterinarians and animal trainers and help take the best care of our little pals:
- How to Take Care of Pets During a Coronavirus Lockdown (Rappler.com)
- Animal Pet Peeves (Politico.eu)
It’s easy to see that just like us, our pets will often feel and act their best when they have a safe routine they can trust. With that, they can enjoy these extra moments with us without secretly wishing we would just go back to work already!
We wish you and your pets health and happiness during these transitional times.