Pandemonium how else can we describe these times?
Rabies shots prolonged
Rabbit chases and dog camps postponed
Walk, whining and water sports, wait a while. . . .
Kennels, dog walking and play dates, suspended. . . . . . . . .
If you had a disaster management or climate emergency plan in place the pandemic pandemonium we are living will not throw your pet care routine into chaos. Of course perfectly laid out plans rarely execute the same! But at least you have a plan.
If on the other hand you outsource pet care, the change in routine and suspension of services will be an unsettling time for you and your pet. Remember you are not your pets primary care giver; you do not walk, feed or groom your dog. Now you have no choice but to be all things to your dog. You and your dog are confused so take your time. A delayed walk or meal is better than none.
Settle into a routine, but in your zeal to show off your pet parenting skills, on social media, do not over do the time you spend with your pet. Stay tuned to coronavirus news and remember this lock down will end. You will go back to work. Never mind what the ‘new normal’ is, it will entail you stepping out of your home. You will be absent for long periods. So make sure you do not take away your pets emotional independence. Give them the confidence they need to deal with the inevitable separation. If you have the space spend time in another room, lock them out of the room if you must to remind them of their independence.
Set aside play time, if you have space indoors or access to a private garden . Routine is your key, make sure you stick to routine.
To allay your boredom, do not make your pet a pastime.
Your primary concern as a parent in this abnormal situation must be to maintain a normal routine, for the humans and animals in your home. Make sure you are not making your kids or pets entirely dependent on you.
It is important to keep your pets engaged when they are confined and isolated for hours, we must draw parallels to our own time in lock down. We must realise our pets lives are basically forced into isolation, until we have the time for them.
For parents, especially of younger children, the novelty of working from home and the euphoria of “family time” is now a distant memory. So far, “family time” was limited to weekends and holidays. Family time, with pets and kids was finite. The uncertainty of this forced interaction is disconcerting.
Our interaction dynamics are being tested and stretched, as pet or human parents! Children are suddenly home all day, everyday, as you adjust to an abnormal length of time spent together. Physical and emotional space are the keys to any healthy relationship. You will not build a strong relationship with your cat or dog if they develop a physical and emotional over dependence to you.
A fantastic initiative we’ve seen a surge in globally is the willingness and interest t foster a cat or dog during Covid-19 confinement. Check out our tips on the benefits and pitfalls of fostering from one our our previous articles.