How to support your pet through lockdown
As pet sales soar across Britain during lockdown with 11% of all households welcoming a new pet into the family, and 10% planning to do so in the near future – it’s important to look at how we can support the life of our beloved furry friends to ensure theirs and our welfare during COVID-19. This month, Green Lane Farm will be sharing top tips on how to do this as well as how to plan for the future to ensure our pets cope well when lockdown lifts.
Ways to support your pet through COVID-19
Paying attention to their behaviour is key!
Pets with rigid routines might have found it hard to adjust to you being at home all of the time and others may simply love the company or maybe it’s neither here nor there to them – but it’s important to pay attention to any changes in your pet’s behaviour to ensure they’re:
Getting enough exercise*
Although the government has limited the amount of outdoor exercise you can do to once a day, it’s important to look at other ways we can exercise our pets.
If you have a garden, you and your dog can have a run around, your cat may like to wander outside too but if they’re a house cat, you may want to consider a harness and a lead, so that you can get some fresh air.
If you do not have a private outdoor area, make sure your pet can enjoy their toys both with another pet or alone.
This may also be a great time to teach your pet new tricks! Having them learn a new set of skills will develop them mentally and also encourage a closer bond between you and your pet.
*Look out for restlessness, destructive behaviour, accidental indoor toileting and whining. If you notice these behaviours it’s likely that you need to provide them with more mental stimulation and exercise.
Not being overfed
Don’t be tempted to overfeed your pet, it can be tempting to give them extra treats or your leftovers to keep them content but it’s not good for their waistline. With dogs, cats and rabbits you should be able to feel their ribs without pressing too firmly, as this means that they are at their ideal weight.
If you are offering your pet treats through tricks and play, make sure you adjust their meals accordingly, so that they aren’t overfeeding.
Are given enough space
If your pet is rather needy, you can:
- Place your pets besides your desk and offer them a treat as a thank you for being quiet as you work
- Over a couple of weeks, gradually move their bed further and further away, so eventually, it’s in another room and they’re comfortable to lie in their bed elsewhere
- After a while, your pet will get used to the routine, so your working time will be their quiet time or a time where they are to amuse themselves with their available chew toys or cat trees
If your pet isn’t needy and is quite content on their own, let them come to you. When they do, make sure to give them a fuss, this will reinforce their good behaviour and independence.
Helping your pet cope once lockdown ends
- Spend time in a different room away from your pet – it’s nice for both you and your pet to have space, this way you can both do what you want without disrupting each other
- Pop out into the garden and leave your pet inside – you’re not far, maybe they can see you from the glass but having this distance whilst they’re still able to see you will show them that it’s OK to not always be together
- Encourage them to nap in their own bed – discouraging them away from your bed means that you’re both likely to have better quality sleep and will give them the confidence to be independent
- Provide them with mental stimulation activities – things like treat balls, chew toys and activity feeders that allow them to scavenge for themselves and embrace their primal instincts
If you’re at all worried about leaving your pets alone when you go back to work, feel free to get in touch with Green Lane Farm. We have boarding kennels, catteries and provide small pet care too – from ducks to mice and tortoises – our pet hotel caters to all. To learn more about us or to visit us on-site to see what it’s like, contact our animal-lovers today, we’d love to show you around.