Our pets thrive best from having a routine they follow every day. But the pandemic has caused a drastic change to everyone’s lifestyles. Even with some restrictions lifting, it is still not advised for your pet’s life to return to the way it used to be. This means that it must continue avoiding people, it cannot interact with other pets it sees, and it must continue spending most of its time indoors.
Helping your pet to navigate these challenges can feel hard. Your pet cannot understand why its whole life has changed but can get depressed and listless. You must find ways to give it a sense of routine and establish new ways to keep it entertained to help it avoid feeling sad.
Luckily, most dogs and cats will easily adapt to a new routine if you approach it enthusiastically and consistently. Your pet may be used to getting groomed at a salon. But if you buy new shears for your dog or cat and take time to familiarize them, they will adjust to having you groom them after a few attempts. It is the same with playing games, establishing a new bathroom routine, and adjusting the way they get fed.
Meditate with Them
Your pets will not comprehend what is going on, but they will be very attuned to your moods. If you seem stressed and nervous all the time, they will feel stressed out as well. Seeing your pets seem scared and anxious will fuel your own anxieties further.
Avoid this self-perpetuating cycle by including your pets in your stress-relief activities. Sit with your pets and hold them while you practice deep breathing exercises. Pet them repetitively as you meditate as both a way to anchor yourself and them to the calming activity.
Take the time every day to cuddle them and give them undivided attention from you. This may not be a regular part of their daily routine, but it will make them very happy. It will ease any worries about the change to their routine simply because they enjoy your attention and affection.
Talk to Your Vet
Some businesses are having trouble remaining consistently open during the various restrictions and lockdowns and SOP requirements. Thus, you need to establish contingency plans with your vet in case of any medical emergencies that may occur with your pet. Your vet will have your pet’s medical records and will be able to advise you on what to look out for and suggest emergency pet services in your area to go to if they are unavailable.
You must also consider what to do if you happen to become positive for the coronavirus and your pet needs medical care. Your vet will need to be informed. You will need to respect any SOP guidelines they have in place and come to terms with the fact that you may have to board your dog for a while.
Micro-chipping your pet might also be a good idea at this time. Dogs can get very restless and may see an open door and take off. They will want to enjoy the freedom and fun of running around, but it can get dangerous for a house pet to be outside without supervision. A micro-chip will help you locate your dog before it gets in danger or encounters strangers who may not be kind to it.
Have a Quarantine Plan
An in-home quarantine plan is necessary for people who do not have the resources to self-isolate after a positive diagnosis. Your pet will also need to be factored into this plan. There is no concrete evidence if your pet can transmit or contract COVID-19, but this does not mean that they are safe to be around while you are sick. Not knowing if they can contract the disease and to what extent means there is no guideline or medical plan for treating a pet if they fall ill.
Thus, you must arrange for someone else to provide pet care of wear gloves and a mask while you take care of your pet. This will keep both you and your pet safe from any unfortunate circumstances.
Establish a new routine with your dog, so they can still enjoy their outside walks. You will have to start taking them out very early in the morning to avoid encountering people and other pets.
At first, you may encounter some resistance but help them overcome this by making it very fun. Take their favorite toy on the walk, give them treats, and after a few days, your dog will start to adjust to the new walk routine.
Adjust their feeding times to make it easier for them to adjust their bathroom needs to the new schedule. It may take a while to help them come to terms with the change, but as long as you remain consistent and enthusiastic, they will come around. This will go a long way towards maintaining their good humor during all these changes to their lifestyle.