How Can I Make Sure my Pet is Happy During Coronavirus?
Pets need good mental health too – and a lockdown can be distressing for them.
The strain of social distancing can be a lot for people to get used to – restricting our movements and our contact with friends and family – but isolation can have an equally negative effect on our pets. Changes in routine, reduced access to other animals, and confinement to a smaller space can all produce signs of anxiety and stress. How can we minimise the effect of lockdown on our furry family members?
Engage and enrich
Exploring indoors can keep pets engaged and stimulated even without their regular excursions. Try creating games that involve finding hidden objects or treats. You could hide familiar objects –a much loved toy – for them to find in various boxes on the floor. A good mealtime game involves putting dry food into a muffin tray and covering each opening with a ball. See how long it takes them to nudge aside the ball and find the food.
Give them access to light and air
If you have a garden, try to allow your pet time outdoors as often as possible. Leave windows open safely to let in fresh air. You could even clear the windowsill and allow your pet to see outside – but keep an eye on them, in case they become distressed at missing out.
Keep them busy
Physical activity can be a release for pets cooped up indoors – and stop destructive behaviours that might indicate stress or boredom. The Blue Cross charity has a helpful list of indoor activities to keep pets and owners busy.
Keep them calm
There’s growing scientific evidence that certain types of classical music and animal TV programmes have a calming effect on agitated pets: there are a number of playlists available on streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube.
Don’t forget that most pets find human contact soothing, so stroke and pet them whenever they are receptive. That can help bring your blood pressure down too!
For any extra advice please call our team on 01252 844044 for our Hartley Wintney branch, 01256 844944 for our Basingstoke branch and 01252 877799 for our Firgrove branch.