The outbreak of the pandemic has changed everything about the way we see life. Many of us have lost our homes, jobs, and even our loved ones. But as a pet parent, the silver lining during these bad times is having our furry friends right next to us.
Sitting out with your pets: a safe alternative to group training classes
Because your pup has seen very little of the outside world, you don’t have to start with a park or any other crowded public place right away. You can simply sit with them on your balcony and let them see what the outside world looks like. Then, gradually, you can take them out as well, but not too far. Consider sitting with them by the street right next to your house.
Allow them to see a car, a bicycle, people walking by, trees, other animals (both stray and pets). It might seem overwhelming for them initially, but if you continue to do it for a week or so, they’ll understand that this is what the outside world looks like.
Pro-tip: When you’re outside, make sure you sit right next to them and keep petting them continually to help them feel both safer and more confident.
Arrange playdates for them with other pet parents
While taking your pup out to dog parks might not be a feasible idea amidst the pandemic, you can certainly invite other dog parents into your home, right? Arranging a playdate for your pup is the best way to take their interaction with the outside world to the next level.
In this way, not only will they get to meet other dogs, but also other people who are warm and welcoming (being pet parents themselves). If anyone in your circle has a dog or a pup, you can make it a regular thing; a fun hangout where both the pets and their parents enjoy mingling together.
Teach them how to live without you
Before you panic, we’re not asking you to abandon your little pup but to give them an idea of what life will look like once the pandemic is gone.
If you’re a working pet parent restricted to WFH right now, you must be enjoying the company of your furball 24x7. But what about when you actually start going to work? Does your pup know how to cope with your absence for over 8-10 hours a day? Socializing helps them ease into this scenario.
Here are a couple of ways you can help your little friends cope without you:
Getting them used to a dog walker
Walking your pup has to be that one outdoor thing all dog parents look forward to. However, when you resume working from the office, you might not have the time for it.
Hire a dog walker for your pup well in advance to give them a chance to familiarize themselves with your pup. Let them take your pup out once or twice a week at first. It will help them get comfortable around other humans and go for a walk without you. Once your office re-opens, the walker can take over completely.
Help them get used to your absence
If you’ve been living with your pup 24x7 so far, not seeing you around all day can be an overwhelming experience for them. To prevent that from happening, consider going out without them for 2-3 hours at a stretch.
However, before you do that, make sure they have enough toys to keep themselves entertained. Every time you go out, switch on the TV or radio for your pets. It will make them feel like they’re not all alone.
The surge of COVID-19 has been a difficult time for us all, but having a pet by our sides during this period has certainly made our lives a little easier. Now that it’s time for us to make their lives easy, we must do it the right way.