As social distancing becomes the new norm and people adjust to life in quarantine, many pet owners are finding it an even more unique challenge: how to keep their pets content and entertained while limiting their contact with the outside world. Regardless of whether you have a large, energetic dog, a feisty cat, or something in between, self isolating with a pet can be both a blessing and a curse. So what can you do to make the experience more pleasant for both of you?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s no secret that the last few months have been especially tough on everyone. Social distancing has meant more time by ourselves – and for many of us, that means more time with our furry friends and family. With so much fear and uncertainty both inside and outside of our homes, our companions have never been more crucial.
Fortunately, there are several ways to add some extra joy to your shared quarantine experience.
- Incorporate new activities into your day-to-day life, such as agility or obedience games.
- Teach your pet a new skill or two, like fetching from a certain distance or bringing you a certain object.
- Spend time exploring around your home (particularly if you live in a big city) — find a new spot to let your pup off the leash or have a picnic with your cat in a sunbeam.
- Experiment with different types of treats, toys, or play sessions.
These activities and ideas can bring much-needed companionship and relaxation during these heavily isolated times. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or emotionally drained, a simple walk or cuddle session could be just the thing to lift both of your spirits. So, if you’ve been struggling to find joy while in quarantine, let your pet be your companion and remember to share some of the isolation together.
2. Keeping Our Pets Safe: An Inside Look at Self-Isolation with Animals
Isolation With Your Pet
The most important thing to remember when it comes to self-isolating and being with our pets is to keep them safe during these trying times. Pets need an environment where their needs are met, especially when things are uncertain. Here are a few things to consider when managing our pet’s needs while we are all at home:
- Exercise: Make sure to keep your pet well exercised – this can involve long walks, playtime in the park, or a healthy play session in the garden.
- Maintain Routines: Sticking to a daily routine will help keep your pet calm and settled, especially when things are uncertain. This can include feeding times, bedtimes, or set times for grooming or walks.
- Keep a Calm Environment: Avoid doing things that may startle your pet – keep the TV and radio at a reasonable volume, avoid sudden movement or loud noises.
Creating a safe environment for our pet is essential for a healthy relationship. While self-isolating, it is important to remember the fact that animals feed off our emotions. If we are distressed, so are they. Taking time out of the day to play or cuddle with our pet will help both of us stay relaxed and in turn prevent them from becoming anxious. A combination of the above along with the love and care of their humans will keep your pet in optimal health and safety during these times of uncertainty.
3. Boisterous Walks or Laissez-Faire Laps: How Furry Friends Can Help During Social Distancing
Getting out for some fresh air has always been essential for mental health. Even more so now, when social distancing prevents us from spending time with our normal support systems. For those of us fortunate enough to have a furry friend, now is the time to take advantage of the excuse to shower them with extra attention. Here’s how to navigate your walk with four legs.
For starters, bring a little pep in the pup’s step. Boisterous walks tend to be the most effective with your four-legged colleague. Let them sniff around, explore, and work up some energy by trotting with you around the neighborhood. If there is a dog park nearby, take the opportunity to stop in and let them mingle with their canine counterparts for a change of pace. Did you know that one of the best ways to battle boredom is through physical activity? That’s right, even walking around the block or around the park is a chance for your canine companion to find a little relief, and something to sniff!
- If you have a friend with a house, go for a walk in their yard. It’s a great way to get your pup some exercise and fresh air without leaving home.
- If you’re walking your pup outside, try incorporating a few stops. Stop by trees, statues, mailboxes; there are lots of fun spots with fascinating smells. Plus, you can always try teaching them some new tricks or commands, or even some simple games while you’re outside.
- Laissez-Faire laps are another way to get your pup outside. If your pup is a bit older or doesn’t like to do more than a leisurely stroll, try a meandering loop around your block. You can take your time, let your pup stop and smell all of the smells, and maybe even pick up a few extras along the way!
4. Keeping Tails Wagging and Spirits High: Keeping Our Pets Entertained During Quarantine
In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, our pets are feeling bored and anxious just like us. So, how can we keep them happy while they have to stay inside with us?
Let’s start with the basics: Walks and Exercise! Your pet still needs physical activity, so if it is safe to do so, make sure to take them for daily walks in the park or the nearest neighbourhood. Additionally, you can play with them in the garden or, if the weather does not cooperate, indoors. Hide and seek and tug-of-war games are just some of the fun activities you can do to make sure your pet gets its daily exercise in.
Aside from physical activities, animals would appreciate some mental stimulation. Teach them a few tricks, like how to sit, lie down, or shake hands. You could also challenge them by setting up a complex puzzle in the form of a search game or by hiding their favourite snacks around the house. To make it extra special, print out some pictures of your pet, cut them out, and hide them around the house as if they were a part of the search game.
Lastly, if all else fails, you can always keep your pet entertained with the following activities:
- Good old-fashioned petting sessions
- Provide chew toys or play with them in the garden
- Put their favourite treats inside a box and let them use their sniffer
- Play fetch in the garden, hallway, or living room
- Buy them a play buddy (catnip mouse, cuddly toy, etc.)
In the end, keeping our pets entertained during this pandemic is something that we all should focus on. Nobody likes to remain cooped up inside and our animals, just like us, need a little fun in their lives too.
Create a bond with your pet while self-isolating – these uncertain times can have is re-thinking our relationships with our furry friends. Take the initiative to add some extra TLC into moments of cuddles and playtime. After all, a pet’s love is unconditional.