The COVID-19 pandemic has hit everyone hard in some way. Whether your grief is over the loss of a job, social connection, or of life as you knew it, we have all been faced with the notion that we are forever changed. This also takes a toll on your pets. Whether you have a cat or dog, your pet adapts to your emotions. They can sense when you are happy or sad. Instead of seeing the coronavirus as a end to our way of life, we can now take this time to restructure our lives and slow down. That includes spending more time with our animals.
So many of us had previously gone to work for at least eight hours a day, just to come home, cook dinner for our family and spend very little time with our pets. Now, with the loss of much of our social lives, though we are seeing less of our friends, we can spend more time at home in the company of our pets.There are a few things you can do to help alleviate the stress and boredom your pet may face from having it’s routine changed. During this time of social distancing you can help your pet to become more active, you can teach them something new, provide a new routine, and even make them healthier treats.Read More »
Aside from exercise, if you are going to be home for longer periods of time, you may want to teach your pet new tricks. Cats and dogs get bored just like we do, so help to stimulate their minds by teaching them something new. Many pet shops also have games to use to stimulate your pet’s mind. Dogs in particular have several types and levels of treat-based games available. This helps your pet’s boredom and can help to alleviate destructive behaviors. The games that are created for dogs are great to help them learn and provide them with instinct based, scavenger style hunts for treats.Be wary of providing too many treat based games into your pet’s routine. You don’t want them to put on extra weight. If you don’t want to invest in these treat-based games, you can make your own scavenger hunt. Hide treats within a small area around your home or outdoors and let your pet “hunt” for them. This plays into their primal instincts of hunting for prey and will provide them with a task. Both cats and dogs have sensitive noses and will enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Hiding treats will help to curb their boredom and will prevent destructive behavior.
Pets are susceptible to getting COVID-19 jut like their owners. They are likely to be stressed by the pandemic because their routine has been changed. By providing a new, albeit post COVID routine, you will help your pet to adapt to their new way of life. While their old routine probably consisted of watching you go to work for hours upon end, just to come home and spend a couple of hours with them before bed, a new, more active routine will be a good change for each of you. As excited as your pet is to see you after work, think of how happy they will be to have your company for longer periods of time.
In addition to becoming more active with your cat or dog, you may also provide them with healthier food options. While it has become more difficult to get out and do even mundane tasks such as grocery shopping, make sure you have enough food and treats for your pet for a few weeks at a time. For dogs, making frozen treats out of basic ingredients will be good for them. After being outside and playing, make your dog a frozen treat by pouring sweet potato or pumpkin baby food into ice trays and freezing them. Baby food is an easy and accessible item because it is not harmful to your pet and has less additives. Ice trays also offer perfectly portioned treats for your pet. You can make cats frozen treats as well. Pour milk into an ice tray and freeze it for summer treat.
All of the items listed will help your pet during the pandemic. Both of you will enjoy bonding during this time and keeping active will do both of you good. By trying out new activities and treats, your pet will not become bored. Providing a new schedule when you are home, will help your pet’s stress and will curb unwanted bad behavior. By helping to keep their minds stimulated, you will not only spend quality time with your pet, but you will also help to keep them healthy and active during what is a trying time for all of us.
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