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Helping your pets through lockdown

Helping your pets through lockdown

While lockdowns have been happening all over the world since the 2020 outbreak of coronavirus, here in Australia they are as prominent as ever. And while our own wellbeing is massively important during these tough indoor times, many owners wonder about how they can help their pets through lockdown too. 

Pet ownership in lockdown might look very different to your day to day life. Whether your favourite walks are now off limits, you’re now having to use the playroom as your office, or your fur-friend is simply delighted to have you all day – it’s tough to juggle it all.

This is why we decided to write this blog. To offer practical, manageable and, hopefully, helpful lockdown pet care advice. To help them adjust and stay happy both now, and once the restrictions ease. 

Tip #1 – Find A New Routine

Routine helps many of us to feel steady, even when the world around us feels unsure. And it’s often the same for our pets too. 

So perhaps take some time to sit down and write out a new routine for you and your animal buddies. One that encompasses your need to fit in family time, a work schedule and still attend to their needs too. 

Maybe that means setting the alarm a little earlier for some extra quiet time to yourself, or to start those emails before the young puppy wakes up! Or maybe it’s adjusting to a later bedtime to encourage your companions to sleep in a little longer the following morning, now that the commute isn’t happening. 

Tip #2 – Prioritise Playtime

If you are unable to leave the house, then try and place some real emphasis on playtime for your pets. Perhaps even scheduling ‘playtime breaks’ at the time you would have usually spent  on a walk or doing other outdoor activities. This will help them to adjust to the sudden disruption to their own routine.

Make this slot of time all about them, their favourite activities, and maybe even get the whole family involved. 

Here are some creative ideas to get you started:

  • Fetch – For dogs and cats alike; if you’ve never managed to get a solid fetch down, now’s the time to get it going! Make the toy exciting and get your pet to track it, once they have chased it and have it in their mouth, try running away and making silly noises to get them bounding after you. Even in a small hallway this game can really get the heartrate up.
  • Cardboard Castle – Got any leftover cardboard from all those online orders? Why not let the kids (or big kids) get out their craft draw and create a castle for your animal companions to explore. You could even create hiding places for treats, so they have to work extra hard for some exciting smells and tastes. 
  • Bed to Bed – A great one for dogs; lure your pup from one spot in the room to another, either by laying down two beds or two cushions. Once they get the hang of it, it can become a game of agility and obedience. They have to wait for your signal, then sprint to the other bed to win a treat or their favourite toy. A great energy burner!
  • Hide & Seek – Get inventive and give all the family a treat, then let them hide around the house. Sure to excite both pets and kids alike!

Tip #3 – Use The Extra Time

For some, without a commute to handle you may have a little extra time for your pet’s needs. And this can be ideal, as they might be in need of a little extra reassurance. With changing schedules and routines, taking extra good care of their needs with some extra quality time is a great way to help them stay grounded. 

Always forget to brush their teeth? Why not start a new habit tracker and try to do it daily. Forgot the last time they saw a grooming mitt? Why not start a daily brushing ritual. 

Utilising this extra time to pamper your pet is a great way to improve their grooming regime, lower your stress levels and keep your pet feeling calm too. 

Or why not try something new together? Got any fun tricks you’ve always wanted to try? Start a 5 minute practice session every day. Or I hear dog yoga is all the rage on YouTube these days…

Tip #4 – Keep Some Alone Time

While your pets may be thrilled to have full access to you 24/7, in order to prevent any future separation anxiety problems arising it’s a good idea to regularly give your pet their space. 

Start with small boundaries, like less shadowing. That could mean closing the bathroom door for showers, cooking in the kitchen alone – small moments where your pet can learn to self regulate. 

Also build in time where they are alone completely. Perhaps shut in a quiet room with some toys and a blanket, so they can get a break from any kids running around and also remember that being alone is a signal to relax.

If you want to maintain a sense of normalcy, you could even perform the rituals of leaving before this alone time, like preparing your keys and coat – or anything else you would normally do. 

Tip #5 – Be Kind To Yourself

While lockdown might mean more time and opportunity to explore hobbies for some, that definitely isn’t always the case. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t manage to do everything you planned or wanted to achieve for yourself, or your pet. 

Your pet will love your company, even if it’s just both of you getting through lockdown on the sofa together (with a bucket of ice cream and a great film, of course.) 

So be kind to yourself and be realistic about what you can achieve or do in a day. Your pet will love you no matter what. 

That’s why they mean so much to us… because they are with us through rough times just like this. So enjoy their goofy ways and give them extra cuddles just because you can. 

The Growth Genies are a collective of pet lovers with marketing wizardry. As an Australian creative growth agency, they specialise in supporting pet businesses worldwide, helping them to connect with owners looking for great products and services. Using first hand knowledge of the industry, technical know-how and creative flair, they love to help pet businesses provide real value to their community.

Comments (1)

  • Mark
    13/09/2022 at 11:10 pm Reply

    Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.

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