These are very strange times indeed, working from home/ furloughed or self-isolating it can be hard for your pets to adjust. Whilst most pets are happy to have you at their beck and call the sudden distruption to their routine can lead to stress related behaviours.
Restoring the calm to your pet’s daily routine and introducing some fun activities can be entertaining for the whole family, making your pet less anxious about the changes to the household.
- Do not change feeding times, this is perhaps the most important of routines, try to keep mealtimes as normal as possible.
- Lockdown restrictions mean that you can’t walk your dog as often as you usually do. If you are lucky enough to have a garden this is less of a problem, but if you don’t you may have to get creative indoors with stimulating games. Read our Boredom Busters Blog and teach your dog a new trick !
- Change the toy they usually play with, dig out the old toy at the bottom of the box, it may become their new favourite toy.
- Cats may be more affected by having you at home, they are used to the peacefulness of an empty house so make sure they have a bolt hole to escape to when things get too much for them.
- Cats can also be trained (with a lot of patience and very short sessions) by using treats as a reward – this can only be achieved if you are keeping treats to training sessions.
- Have a go at targeting training, best attempted when there are no distractions. Hold the target an inch away from your cat’s nose (a toy, bed or your hand). Your cat will want to sniff it, so the instant her nose touches the target, give her a treat. Repeat this process several times, but keep your sessions short.
- Some cats will quickly get the idea that touching the target earns them a treat, while others may need several days of practice sessions a few times a day. Don’t give up and keep the training sessions short, with maybe five to ten tries at a time.
Most importantly have fun, its amazing what can be achieved with a little patience and the distraction can keep you all entertained !