The Importance of Maintaining a Routine with Your Pets
Animals—dogs, cats and even humans—are creatures of habit. We like it when our routine is consistent. So, some of our furry friends are in for a shake-up as their humans start returning to the office and traveling again after a year-and-a-half of COVID-19 restrictions having kept us at home.
When the pandemic struck and people started spending the majority of their time at home, our canine companions probably didn’t know what to think. But dogs love being with their humans, so they quickly adjusted to the new routine.
However, as people start returning to the office, our dogs are going to see their worlds turned upside down again. Only, this time, they’re probably not going to have the same positive reaction to the shift in their schedules.
Many pets will likely suffer from separation anxiety. Our sister company, On Call Pet Sitters, posted a great blog on helping your pets cope with their anxiety as we return to our pre-COVID lives. You can read it by clicking here.
As our lives return to normal, it’s important to establish new routines for our pets that we can maintain even after we return to work. When possible, keep the same routines even if it means doing them on a different timetable. If you played with your dog in the yard in the middle of the day while working from home, continue to play with him daily when you get home from work. If you were walking your dog twice a day, continue to do so even though the walks may be earlier or later than they were when you were working from home. Dogs are adaptable and will adjust to the new schedule.
The best way to establish a new schedule is through consistency. Taking your dog for walks at roughly the same time of day—even though it may be a different time compared to when you were working from home—will help them settle into a new schedule. Feeding them consistently at about the same times is also critical for establishing a routine so your pets feel settled. (Consistent feeding times are also good for their general health and well-being.) If you have a yard, carving out time each day to play fetch or frisbee will help exercise your dog and is a great way to spend quality time with them.
Of course, it’s essential to maintain a clean yard so you can play safely in it without stepping on any “landmines.” It’s also imperative for keeping parasites out of your yard. Cleaning your yard only takes a few minutes if you do it regularly and consistently. However, with our busy lifestyles, it can be difficult to keep up with your dog’s “production.” If you find you’re regularly falling behind in maintaining your yard, you might want to consider using a pet waste removal company. This will ensure your yard stays clean for both you and your dog’s enjoyment.
Maintaining a consistent routine will actually strengthen the bond between you and your pets. However, it’s necessary to allow some flexibility in your routine to help your pets become adaptable while still providing them with the stability they need. So, don’t think you have to take your dog out like clockwork each day but do make it a point to take them out at some point each morning and each evening.
While we humans may know that change is inevitable and generally isn’t something to worry about, our pets don’t know that. Changes to routine can often leave our pets feeling anxious and scared. Providing them with a consistent routine will give them a sense of security and calmness. The most important thing to remember when establishing a new routine for your pets is to make sure it’s predictable and provides them with the stability they need to adapt to their changing world.