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Pets and the Pandemic

The Covid’19 pandemic this year has taken a toll on just about every part of our lives, disrupting our routines and splitting us up from our loved ones. It’s hit our physical, and mental, well-being and caused a great deal of upheaval over months of lockdown. What we probably didn’t pay equal attention to was that the nationwide lockdown has affected not only us but also our pets in a number of ways.

Our pets might not be able to tell us how they feel about the disruption in their everyday lives but there’s a good chance that the pandemic may be causing them some distress. Their regular outings are at a standstill and daily walks are down to a bare minimum. Even if you haven’t particularly noticed anything wrong with your furry companions, it’s always nice to do a quick catch-up with them to make sure they’re living the stress-free lives they deserve. We’ve created a list for you to work through with your dogs to help make sure they are as comfortable, reassuring, and as happy as they can be in these uncertain times.

1. Get them enough exercise

Since we’re all under house arrest and outdoor activity is so limited, maybe make a fun obstacle course for your dog. You could use stools, chairs, boxes, tables, and anything you can think of. You could run up and down a few flights of stairs with your furry buddy, or do a quick jog through a park (or maybe the basement), to get the heart rates pumping. Keeps you engaged and your pet activated!

2. Teach them tricks

Use your time at home to build a timetable and develop a routine, both for you and your pet. From fetching the newspaper to doing a twirl, from imitating your workouts in the gym to fistbumps, from rolling over to barking on command, there is pretty much no limit as to what your pet is capable of. Get your doggo prepped now so that you can show him off to your friends post lockdown. However, regularity is key and this is the best time to teach your dog and keep him occupied too!

3. Adequate sleep

An average adult dog sleeps for between 12 and 16 hours a day and puppies might require even more sleep than that. Most dogs sleep during the day while their families are at work and school, so during this lockdown, having us around constantly means our pet dogs aren’t getting the complete rest they need. A quiet spot where they won’t be disturbed by video conferences or kids enjoying their holidays will help your dog get the right amount of sleep they need.

4. Treat them a little more than usual

The sudden pandemic has brought in a huge change in everyone’s lives and our pets are no different. We’ve all binged on our favorite snacks and desserts while sitting at home for over just a few months now, don’t you feel our pets deserve to be treated too? After meals, after performing tricks, or just to show how much you love them, there’s really no right time for a treat but they surely deserve to be treated every now and then. But make sure to keep in mind, healthy treats over junk food, always!

5.Give them their space

All dogs should have a safe spot in the house, just for themselves to enjoy, when they need some quiet time. This could be a spare bedroom, bathroom, a utility room, or simply a cushion in a corner or under a desk. Place some of your pet’s favorite toys or chews, this will help them stay calm. Try to keep this in mind when you’re working from home. It can be tough to distance yourself from the adorable and comforting antics of your animal friends, but it’ll pay off for their mental wellbeing.

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