What happens when you must alter a part of your pet’s daily routine? Here are six ways to make the changes more accessible and enjoyable for you and your pet.
As the summer months approach, there are many exciting activities to look forward to! Whether you are looking forward to weekend hiking, a season job, or evenings on restaurant patios, your winter routine needs an upgrade. Your pet may not be as happy as you when you leave the house right after your usual cuddle time.
Nature is changing even if you don’t! The sun is the most common time for pets to wake up and go to sleep. Their circadian rhythm may have them waking at sunrise hours earlier in the summer.
Changes in routine can be anxiety provoking to both pets and humans. It will be easier for all if you prepare together. These tips will make transitions less stressful for your dog or cat and more exciting.
#1. Change Routines Gradually
It’s essential not to make a significant change in your pet’s routine overnight. It would help if you changed the time for a regular part of your pet’s routine, such as walks or feedings.
If their usual dinner time is 5:30 pm and you want to change it to 6:30 pm, adjust it slowly. People will notice if dinner is an hour late, but if it’s moved by 15 minutes each week, they won’t. Remember this tip the next time you need to adjust your clocks to daylight savings time!
Start with simple exercises when introducing a new routine or activity to your child’s day. Start introducing weekend trips to your pet a few months in advance if, for example, you will be away every weekend. Start with a short journey of 15 minutes outside at the same time as you usually leave. This will help your pet get used to it. Sit on your porch, drink coffee, and head back inside to finish the day.
Add time away until your pet is comfortable with the new routine. Continue to add time until your pet feels satisfied with the new way. This will prevent them from experiencing separation anxieties when you first leave.
#2. Enjoy New Changes
It’s not fun for your pet to be alone without you. Give your pet something to focus on if you need to leave the house. You might find that a snuffle mat or puzzle toy filled with their favorite treat or a TV set playing their famous nature documentary will make them enjoy their time alone.
The same logic can be applied to other changes that they may find unappealing. Do you need to brush your pet’s long hair more in summer? You can also use tube treats or secret peanut butter. Do they get stressed out by car rides? Play their favorite songs in the car.
#3. They Need to Get their Energy Out
It’s essential to keep your pet calm during stressful times. They won’t be able to do this if they are bursting with energy. Exercise is the best thing you can do to help your pet relax and prepare for a nap before a stressful day, long car trip, or vet visit.
Try playing with a laser or having a fetch game in the backyard if you’re up early and don’t want to exercise in the morning. Sip on a glass of cool water, relax, and let your pet do their thing.
#4. Keep Cool
They will respond to your excitement or stress. If you’re running around in a panic trying to find your keys as you head to work, your pet will undoubtedly feel the anxiety. There are better ways to start a day than this. To help your pet adjust to the change, try to be calm and not make a big fuss about leaving.
It also applies to positive interactions! While you may be tempted lavish your pet in affection as you leave or return home, a loud display of excitement will make them think that the event is essential. Most pets will benefit from ignoring manic energy and keeping things as low-key as possible. This will reduce stress and normalize the routine.
#5. Bring them with you!
We would love to bring our pets everywhere we go, so we do! You might be surprised that your pet enjoys some of your activities.
You should bring your pet on weekend hikes. But have you looked into local bars with a patio where pets are welcome for Friday drinks? Are you able to work in an office that allows pets? Your pet may love to be by your side and all the attention they will receive from your colleagues.