Your pets love it when you are home, but even for them the sudden change of having you home all the time can be quite overwhelming. So, we thought it was important to address how this transition may be affecting them too. Here we make some suggestions on how you can help your pets during lockdown.
Give them regular affection and attention
You may still be super busy and have plenty to get on with but be sure to pause from time to time to give your dog, cats, rabbits, etc. a little extra affection. They’ll be expecting, as you’re home more, that you’re there to play and pamper them.
They may be super excited and clingy during the transition but will soon retreat once they’re use to you being around more. Try not to get cross with them if they ask for attention when you’re busy working or occupying the children.
Also, if you’re feeling anxious, no doubt they’ll sense it. Be sure to soothe them with cuddles and kisses to put them at ease.
Be creative with exercise
If you take your dog out for long walks at the weekend or multiple walks in a day, or play frequently with your kitties, they may be shocked by the sudden change in routine. Build obstacle courses around the garden or create some indoor activities so they can have interactive and engaging play. Be sure to let them out in the garden a few times a day and encourage them to play with toys.
We’re a cat household – we have two- and one of ours loves to play on the stairs. I’ll try and do a little video to share with you on social. Try and think outside the box. See what they’re interested in and try and make a game out of it.
Change their feeding habits so they have more contact with you
Ordinarily, you may leave a bowl of food out for your pets to graze at throughout the day. Whilst you’re at home, why not spread their meals out and have them eat whilst you eat. It’ll give them a sense of involvement and a bit of attention as you deliver their meal. Also, they’re less likely to stare at you whilst you eat and deter an unwanted change in behaviour around mealtimes.
Give them little treats
This at-home time is a great opportunity to teach your pets new tricks. Use treats to help encourage them to learn a new behaviour. Additionally, as their routines may be disrupted too, it’s nice, every now and then to give them a little treat for bearing with it. It doesn’t have to be food, it could be a new toy, giving them a brush, letting them sleep in the bedroom, or just some extra affection and attention.
As highlighted, your pet may be a little overexcited by having you home all the time. If you’re working from home, you may notice they become more demanding around feeding times and/or just jump all over you for affection when you’re trying to work on a project. It can be incredibly frustrating. No doubt there will be a transition period whilst they get use to their new routine. If they’re interrupting your working day too much, be firm with them and let them know it isn’t accepted behaviour; remove them from your office environment and close the door on them so they become familiar with the consequence of their actions. They may take a little while to adjust but they will. Just try not to get too mad with them in the meantime.
How have you found your pet has adjusted to the new routines? Let us know in the comments below and of course we’d love to see a picture or two too!