During these unprecedented times when everyone is at home and normality is out the window, it can be difficult knowing how to keep our pets entertained throughout the day. While most cats and dogs will just be happy to have us home, the sudden change to their normal routines can be unsettling and even lead to stress-related behaviours.
With this in mind, it is worth sparing some thought to how we can restore some calm to our pets' everyday lives and preoccupy them with fun activities, so they’re maybe less anxious or unsure about the changes going on around them.
- Aim to keep feeding times the same. Being home may mean you’re tempted to feed your pets slightly earlier or slightly later in the day, especially in the mornings. While this is unlikely to cause too much of a problem, it’s another change to the normal routine, so, where possible, try to keep meal times as they've always been.
- Unfortunately, the restrictions may mean that you can’t walk your dogs as frequently as they’re used to. If you have a garden, this is less of a problem, but if you don’t, aim to introduce new activities indoors that will both physically and mentally stimulate them.
- Teach your pet a new trick. They are never too young or old to learn! Maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to teach them but never had the time. Well, now’s your opportunity!
- Invent new games. If you have children, they can get involved too and help make it fun. Whether it’s hiding treats around the house or creating your own agility course in the garden, there is fun to be had just by being creative.
- Rotate toys. If you can order new toys then great, but if not, rotating your pet’s existing toys is good enough, as they’ll feel like they’re getting something new! This will keep them interested and occupied, as suddenly something that was long forgotten and ignored at the bottom of the toy basket will now hold newfound intrigue! It will also save you some pennies.
- Cats in particular may struggle having you home more, especially if they are exclusively house cats that are used to the daily peace and quiet. Make sure they still have places to go to escape the household hubbub for some sleep and relaxation.
Written by: Hannah