One of the silver linings from the Coronavirus pandemic is the raise of the number of pet adoptions. Many people have found themselves isolated from the rest of the world and their pets have become a bigger source of emotional support.
As we start to adjust to our ‘new normal’, we are leaving our homes more often, returning to work at the office and making plans for local holidays. This change in lifestyle might come as a shock to your pets. Especially if all they have ever known is your constant company for the last 6 months.
Even though you may not be spending as much time at home, with some simple considerations, it is still possible to include your pet in your daily life and adventures. When doing so, it is important to remember that not all pets enjoy being outside of their home and could also find a constant change of environment quite stressful.
However, there are some things you can do to ensure that your pet enjoys being included in your daily activities. Here are our top 5 tips on how to start including your pet in your daily life and on holidays:
Train to include your pet in your daily life
A calm and well-balanced pet is easier to include everywhere with you. If you plan on using a carrier, start getting your cat or dog used to sitting and resting inside the carrier. Or teach them to settle down and relax on command. It is also important to practise this in a variety of places. You can’t always be with your pet when you are out or in the office so it’s useful that they have a dedicated space and learn how to self-settle in case you need to go out of sight for a period of time.
Start with small experiences
If your cat or dog is not used to going on outings or visiting busy places, start with small experiences. Include them on short car trips so that they are comfortable with the motion and sounds. Once they are used to all of that, you can slowly add quick activities such as a trip to the local café or a short stint at the office (if you are lucky to be able to bring them!). Remember to be patient, if it’s their first time, don’t expect them to be able to immediately be comfortable or stay in one place for hours.
Look for pet friendly businesses when including your pet
There are now more pet friendly cafes and pubs than ever. These places are often set up for pets by having pet loving staff, dedicated seating areas, water and pet friendly food items on the menu. Visiting a pet friendly business will make the experience more fun and comfortable for you and your pet too.
Plan your day to include pet friendly activities
Although it may be fun for you to bring your pet to a café, to the office or on a holiday, consider that it can be quite boring for your pet to sit patiently while you eat, have meetings or while you drive around and sight-see.
To keep things interesting for your pet, consider their needs during the day. Pack water and treats or a puzzle toy to keep them entertained. Find dog friendly parks or walks to bring them on and use a retractable lead so they can explore the area at their own pace. Or find a quiet area, place a harness and leash on your cat and encourage them to explore nature.
Organise a back up
Sometimes, it just might not be possible to include your pet in your holiday activities or around the office. Unfortunately, some places like national parks, museums and shopping centers are not pet friendly. Organising a back-up gives you more flexibility to include your pet on holidays or days at the office. If you have friends or family nearby, you could call on them if you need someone to keep an eye on your pet for a short period of time.
However, sometimes friends and family may not be available (or reliable!). For those times, we recommend booking a professional pet sitter to either take your dog out for a walk, host your dog for doggy day care or drop in and visit your pet in your home.
Pawshake is a community that will connect you with local pet lovers who would love to care for your pet. Unlike commercial kennels and day cares, the pet sitters on Pawshake are more flexible, offer pick-ups and drop offs and only look after a couple of pets at a time. This ensures that your dog or cat will get paw-sonalised service each time.
Our pets bring so much joy and companionship into our lives, so it is natural for us to want to include them in as much of our lives as possible.
However, while some pets may love visiting new places, some might not be as comfortable with the change of environment. Remember to be patient, start slowly, and give them plenty of time to adjust. At any time, if you feel that they are getting uncomfortable, consider heading home. If going home is not an option, try and find a quiet corner for them to retreat to.
Before taking your pet with you on your outing, consider their comfort. If it’s going to be loud, crowded or hot, it might not be a positive experience for your pet. So, while you would love to include them in the activity, the best thing for them might be to stay at home where they can be comfortable.
If you are worried about leaving your pet at home for extended periods of time, consider booking a pet sitter to drop in and visit your pet. Not only will your pet have company during the day, you’ll also get updates from the pet sitter which mean you can enjoy your day with peace of mind.
We hope these tips help you to enjoy many happy outings and adventures with your furry best friend!