Lockdown did a number on our social lives, but one benefit has been the amount of time we’ve been able to spend with our fur babies. While it’s been good times for us though, the looming end of lockdown means possible pet anxiety as they adjust to us pissing off again multiple nights a week.
Fortunately, you can help adjust your pup or cat (or other animal baby who is needy, lol) quite easily. It’s best to start doing it now so they don’t lose their shit in a few weeks, k?
Here are some tips from Dr. Katrina Warren, spokesperson for Snooza – they make these calming pet beds that I 1000% genuinely love, my dog had one before she ate the stuffing out of it because she doesn’t understand the concept of having nice things.
1.Establish A Safe Place
Basically, create a space where your pet feels calm and relaxed. For some, this is a whole room – my Millie for example sleeps in the laundry, and sometimes when she’s stressed she just goes in there and lies on her bed.
For others, it could just be a doggy bed that has a blanket they can crawl under, or a particular corner of the room.
2. Set Up Chew Habits
For dogs, chewing can be a source of anxiety release. So providing yours with chew toys, or chew treats like pigs ears (gross) or bully sticks (literally a cow penis or something, Millie froths them) can be a good way to give them some calming down-time.
Bonus – it helps prevent them from chewing your furniture and shoes.
3. Give Them Some Time Alone At Home
I know it’s hard not to smother your dog/cat/rabbit in iso, but giving them some alone time through this lockdown period is important.
Even if you just go for a long walk without them, or in my house we put Millie out in the lounge room for a few hours while we work. Anything that gives them some separation from you so you don’t end up with separation anxiety dramas when you go back to work, you know?
4. Get Regular Exercise In
Dogs need exercise, fact. Even if you have the most slothy greyhound in existence, you need to get them outta the house for a bit each day.
I saw a marked difference in Millie when we started taking her for two walks a day – she settled down at night easier and was less reactive to noises in the yard, which means she was less agitated. Just like humans!
5. Maintain A Routine If You Can
Routine is great for humans dealing with anxiety, so naturally it works for pets too. Things like giving them their breakfast around the same time each morning, taking them for walks around the same time each day, and keeping their day bed in the same spot are all ways to help your pet feel secure.