COVID-19 AND YOUR PET
This year we have all been shocked by a virus that has change our daily lives. Even our pets have been affected by it!
If your pets are like mine, they were excited their family was home more because it meant more walks, more playtime, etc. But have you stopped to think about how this pandemic and our “stay at home” order has affected their lives?
Pets know when somethings different and they may know that you are not just home for a few days. How we manage our emotions during this time can affect our pets and may cause them to feel anxious, and maybe even cause them to exhibit nervous behaviors such as excessive barking, relieving themselves in your home, chewing up furniture, or just misbehaving more than usual.
Pets respond the best to calm, patient, and reassuring actions from their owners. In other words, if we are calm, they will feed off that.
The best way to help our pets is by maintaining their normal activities as much as possible. We at Southern Paws have seen changes in some of our client’s pets. For instance, if our clients were home for 3 or more months and are starting to return to work, some dogs are showing some separation anxiety being left alone again. That’s where we come in. Dogs that we’re now seeing for a 15-30-minute walk daily are adjusting easier to their owners going back to work and owners are telling us their pets seem less stressed when they arrive home.
In closing, here are some recommendations to help you and your pets during self-isolation or stay at home orders.
- Keep them on their regular routine. The stress of a change in the family or their daily routinecan sometimes cause upset in their digestive systems, so changing a diet, or over/under feeding (and giving too many treats) could possibly just make things worse you both.
- It is just as important for our pets to get their daily exercise in as it is for us to maintain a healthy well-balanced life. As a matter of fact, it is critical to their well-being.
- For cats, there are so many ways that you can enrich each day for them. It is so important to find an activity that your cat enjoys the most for them receive the most benefit from it. Example: a cat tree for them to climb, play or even just have a place by a window where they can enjoy watching birds/squirrels. Some cats can easily be entertained by the simplest of things, such as tinfoil rolled up into a ball, an empty box or even a plain paper bag.
Kathy Jarrell, Southern Paws Pet Sitting, LLC