Even though we had been in lockdown for months due to the global pandemic, it's not clear that we're out of the woods yet.
So it's time to think about our beloved pets, whose daily routines have undoubtedly changed, perhaps even more so than ours, as a result of a reduced daily schedule.
You can help your pet get through these difficult times as easily and anxiety-free as possible with a pinch of creativity, a positive attitude, and a few tricks, and maybe even adopt some new ideas after the pandemic is over.
Levels of loneliness, mindfulness and mood.
Cat and dog owners understand the importance of giving their pets their own space.
Our furry friends are experiencing a significant change in their normal daily routine as a result of all of the family members spending so much time at home.
Your cat may have been pacing nervously, hiding behind furniture, or isolating in dark nooks.
It's possible that the kitty simply requires some alone time to rest and recharge.
Create a cozy sanctuary for your furbaby in a separate room or corner if you have the space and means, and let them have uninterrupted naps and quiet rest time that can boost their moods.
It doesn't have to be anything fancy; just a familiar bed, soothing toys, blankets, or anything else your pet goes to when they're upset or playing alone will suffice.
You'll notice a difference in your pet's mood and health almost immediately.
Measure of pet interactions
It is essential for pet owners to ensure that they have sufficient interactions with their animals.
Patting their heads, playing with them, giving them special treats when they are obedient and behave well, and even going on a walk with them and giving them time are all examples of positive reinforcement.
The pet interactions ensure that the owner's and pet's bond does not deteriorate.
Opportunities to socialize
There's no need to strain your brain trying to come up with a fun activity for your pet that can help them socialize.
Play tug-of-war or fetch with an old cloth or your gentle giant's favorite toy.
You can improve it by adding more stuffed toys and giving each one a unique name so your dog can retrieve them by name.
This way, you can keep your dog on his toes while also mentally stimulating him.
Hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other small pets require adequate cardio as well, so make sure to keep them entertained.
Toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes, toothpicks, and other household items can be used to create a DIY obstacle course.
Make it a fun family activity by involving your children. If you have multiple pets in your home, this is a great opportunity to turn it into a fun race!
Sparkly toys and something to chase are popular among cats. A simple flashlight or a laser pointer can pique your cat's interest - an endless source of entertainment for curious cats!
Dogs are natural sniffers, so anything that involves hunting and searching will appeal to them.
Hide their favorite treats throughout the house and let them explore the nooks and crannies, similar to a scavenger hunt for dogs.
You can also play hide and seek with your dog and see how long it takes them to find you—a fun activity for both of you.
Mental well-being during a lockdown and the unique role that pets play
It's just as important to exercise your pet's brain as it is to exercise his or her body.
Motivating your pet to remain curious and proactive will help them relieve stress, anxiety, pass the time, and sleep better.
As a form of mental stimulation, obedience training is always a good choice, but make sure you do it correctly.
Don't set high expectations right away, and gradually introduce commands.
Lockdown appears to be an excellent opportunity for advanced training, but instead of setting unrealistic deadlines for achieving results, pay attention to your dog's ability and mood.
Enriching your pet with cognitive-boosting games like pet puzzles and interactive games is also a good idea.
Nature of the human–pet relationship during a time of heightened and extended life stress
During times of severe stress in the lives of pets and their owners, the animal-human bond is disrupted to a greater extent.
The pets may become annoyed, exhibit aggressive and antagonistic behavior, and refuse to eat in some circumstances.
The same is true for humans, who participate in the same behavior when they are under a lot of stress.
It is critical to ensure that the pet and human relationship does not suffer as a result of either party's stress.
If your dog appears worried when you leave the house, destroys items when you return, follows you from room to room when you're home, goes berserk when you return, and appears to be eyeing you suspiciously even before you leave—you may have a case of separation anxiety.
How often they had ‘felt lonely during COVID-19 lockdown’
Covid-19 presented scenarios in which even the most experienced of us struggled to cope with the global situation.
Animals frequently have it worse than humans; they don't have a home and don't always get sufficient care.
The covid-19 had a financial impact on everyone, as well as limiting their outward activities, which reduced the amount of food that stray animals would regularly get from humans.
Pets thrive on consistency, and sudden scheduling changes can throw them for a loop!
Being left alone for the first time can be hard for a pet to cope up with.
When you're used to constant human contact, it's difficult to be left alone. Matching friendship bracelets can serve as a reminder for you. However, your pet requires reassurance from time to time.
Sudden traumatic events like being separated from the owner for a period of time, loss of a family member or other pet, or a change in the family's routine or structure can disturb pets.
Adopting a pet at any time should be a well-thought-out decision
Adopting any pet at any given time should be a well-considered decision because we, as pet owners, must consider all of the possible outcomes and challenges that may arise if we choose to get a pet.
Most people get a pet just to have someone to talk to when they're alone, and they forget about things like feeding schedules and cleaning up after them.
It's critical to consider whether you're ready to take on the role of owner, as it comes with a slew of responsibilities and duties that you'll have to manage even after the pandemic has passed and you've resumed your normal routine.
A commitment to care for and enrich the life of the animal
Pet owners must not only care for their pets when they provide them with some form of enjoyment, entertainment, or security.
A commitment to ensuring that their pets' mental and physical well-being is prioritized, and that they are allowed to grow in a friendly and comfortable environment
Owning a pet entails more than just bringing a dog or cat into your home; it also entails caring for the animal and loving it even when it is having a bad day.
Guest Post Contributor: Melissa Kauffman
"Pet expert Melissa Kauffman has spent 25 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet publishing industry.
Prior to starting her career in publishing, Melissa spent eight years working in veterinary hospitals where she assisted veterinarians as they treated dogs, cats, rabbits, pocket pets, reptiles, birds and one memorable lion cub."