What’s happening for our pets during lockdown? How are they coping?
In my book ‘Being a Dog’, I tried to help us all learn how the world appears from the dog’s point of view. It was the same in my book ‘Purrfect Guide to thinking like a Cat’, but of course, for our cat friends instead. Why is it important to get inside their thought processes?
Try saying ‘It’s just a dog’ to anyone who has one in their home these days? Not everyone is lucky enough to own a pet, but dog or cat, they are one of the family. As we know, families are very different in the way that they do things day to day. This means that our pets learn all of our little ways, without even trying hard.
What happens then, when there is a lockdown and things seem to be turned on their heads for most of us? Is it silly to think that the pets might care too?
Of course, they aren’t reading the news or looking at the government statistics, depressing though they are. However, we are affected by all these things. Staying at home, feeling worried, missing our normal routines and being put under huge pressure too. It’s all incredibly different, so it would be naive to imagine that our dogs and cats haven’t noticed.
Does it matter? Well, possibly not. Dogs and cats are hugely adaptable. They cope with all kinds of comings and goings in human life, so why not this? I do think that now we have mostly been forced to slow down our pace, they probably quite like the continuity. Those that are left alone most of the day are probably loving having us around.
If you are feeling bored, imagine what your dog goes through for the hours and hours you’re at work?
If you are feeling a bit ‘hemmed in’, perhaps your cat could be considered a little more? Let them have their own space. They need it.
Of course, it isn’t all rainbows. It might be that you are experiencing more problems with your pet because you aren’t leaving them alone as much, especially if you’re seeking extra cuddles or the kids are letting off steam. The good news is that there is still help available if you need it, so feel free to contact me or any properly qualified (ABTC-registered, Clinical Animal Behaviourist) colleagues. We are still running online puppy classes, and they are still filled with well-behaved dogs and puppies wanting to learn. It isn’t a poorer or lesser method, no matter what you hear. Our online class clients are doing exceptionally well, and I think they deserve congratulations because their ‘lockdown pups’ are going to cope with all the changes that will come with our future new normal.