Tips to Prep Your Pet for Life After Quarantine

COVID-19. Coronavirus. No matter what you call this nasty menace sweeping across the planet, it has left humans of every age and creed in a state of panic. With countless businesses in limbo and many sheltering at home to wait out the storm, few could be happy about the situation – unless, of course, you count our pets. After all, you’re with them all the time now, hugging them, giving them treats, playing games. What could be bad about that?

Eventually, though, the call to return to work or school will come, and this may lead to serious separation anxiety. How can you prep your pet for this unavoidable outcome?

  • Distract them. There are many ways you can keep them busy, from hiding treats around the house to giving them puzzle toys. If you can, take them on a long walk before you take off somewhere (avoid taking them to the park, as they may be closed or otherwise unsafe at certain times). This will ensure they’ll be tired and take a nap while you’re away. Keep in mind that some methods won’t work with your pet. Experimentation is the best way to get results.
  • Leave the house for short periods of time. Go outside and wash your car. Go for a walk or ride your bike around the block. Do some gardening. Run to Taco Bell to pick up dinner for your family. Why is this so important? Your pet needs to adjust to your inevitable absence. You can help them by starting small and gradually increasing the amount of time you spend away from home. Just make sure your activities comply with social distancing and keep things safe for everyone.
  • Reintroduce your old routine. Did you get up at a certain time before the pandemic? Did you take your pet for walks in the evening? Force yourself to get back into your old habits. We get it – you’ve been stuck in a rut for the last few months and don’t even know what day it is. Your brain is so fuzzy from the monotony and isolation, you don’t know which way is up. Still, with some determination, you can bring things back to normal.

If you’ve tried the above tips and nothing seems to be working, don’t lose heart. Contact your vet for extra advice.