It's been 'Ruff' on our Fury babies too...
Have you noticed that everyone in the house is acting weird? Everyone is extra needy, extra anxious - yourself included. The kids are having tantrums, and need extra attention. Well, it's no different for the animals in the household. They too are all of sudden extra needy and clingy. They're overwhelmed with the changes in routine and they're not quite sure how to deal with it. So the first person they run to is the only person they know who has all the answers. YOU. In our household, there's me, my husband, my daughter, and then our basset hound, Boris. He's been crying a lot more, asking for pets a lot more, all of a sudden crying every time he needs to eat and go out. It's a bit overwhelming when you also have to deal with a toddler who is about to approach the "terrible two's" in the next 6 months. So, we try to do what we can to instill some balance between the little ones. This is how we are dealing with it.
1. Give them a few minutes of attention - It's a bit difficult to do sometimes when you have kids, but when the kids are calm or napping, give your pet just a couple of minutes of cuddle time and attention. Even give them a small chat and say "Everything is okay. You're doing great." They won't understand it ( I know our dog doesn't, he only knows 'sit, down, up, bark, let's go and NO." but they will definitely understand it in the tone of your voice and action.
2. Sticking with the routine - The routine is definitely not what it used to be but you can try to stick to THEIR routine as much as possible. From morning walks to mealtime, stick to the time you usually implement these tasks. That's one thing they've memorized. Their routine. When their routine changes, this when they start to act out.
3. Walk time = ME time - Not only is it important to stick to the routine but it's even better when you can multitask some quality time for yourself and walking the dog. Walking the dog seems to be the only quiet time I have outside of our home, and the only time I can get fresh air, BY MYSELF. Dogs need their physical activity too. Try not to cut it short and invest in giving them their own "ME" time as well.
4. Include them in family time - We're all going through this together. We all need to find a way to support each other and see what we can do for each other to help us all get through this. This is the perfect time to have great quality family time. Don't forget to include them. They're family too. Before the pandemic, when we were all working our regular hours and we were all out of the house, the one thing our pets were looking forward to was our arrival and to spend time with us. Nothing will ever waver their love and loyalty for us, not even a pandemic.