Prior to COVID-19, most of us had obligations that kept us from being at home with our pets most of the time.
We worked full-time jobs outside the home and had social lives that took us where pets cannot go. That included going shopping, eating at restaurants, and visiting with friends. If you have children, you may have attended their extracurricular activities and taken them to the movies or the museum or all sorts of other events where pets are not allowed.
By the end of the day, it was hard to find time to cater to your pets. However, social distancing and self-quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic provide far more opportunities for quality time at home with your pets. Making the most of your time at home to get quality time with your pet can be a great way to find a silver lining in the midst of all the uncertainty.
Make Play Time a Daily Activity
Most young and middle-aged pets love to play. Many even carry this trait into their senior years. Picking up a rope to play tug of war, grabbing a ball to play fetch, and pulling a string in front of your cat are classic ways to get them excited. Playing fetch can be best done inside as well as in your yard. Since you know your pet best, you will be able to find the games they enjoy most for both indoors and outdoors. Even if you only get to play with them for 30 minutes a day while you work from home, they will look forward to this daily activity with you. Children love playtime with pets, so get the rest of your family involved, too!
Pets Crave Exercise
Most pets spend the majority of their lives inside your home. They don’t get the opportunity to go shopping, travel, work, or go to school to break up the monotony. Giving your pet daily exercise outside of the home is the best way to keep them physically and mentally active. That means taking them for a walk. While you may have a fenced in yard for them to play in, that can get boring. Taking them for a walk around the neighborhood, at the park, or in the woods lets them smell new scents and see what’s going on outside your home. And in most places, exercise outdoors is still permitted as long as you observe social distancing measures! Walking your pet is also a great activity for bonding. Many pet associations recommend your pet gets an hour of exercise per day.
Give Them Pets
When you’re kicking back after a busy day working from home, it can be easy to get sucked into your cell phone, computer, or television to relax. Luckily, you can still do these activities while paying attention to your pet. Encourage them to sit with you so you can pet them and give them affection. If your pets aren’t allowed on the couch, sit on the floor with them for some belly scratching time.
If you’re struggling with anxiety or stress during these unpredictable times, good news! Quality time with pets has been clinically shown to reduce stress and provide many other health benefits.
Give Treats as a Daily Reward
Every pet has some food that they go bonkers for. It may be store-bought treats, real jerky, peanut butter, or something else. When you give pets a daily treat, they come to look forward to it. Even overweight pets can enjoy treats, as there are many specially formulated low-fat, low-calorie options available. Some dogs love munching on vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, and green beans. Some treats, like those with CBD oil and other natural supplements, even have health benefits!
Enjoy Your Time With Your Pets Every Day
Owning a pet is a commitment that lasts for their entire life. They will always need attention, love, and exercise. But it’s not a chore or a burden; caring for pets offers so much more than you give to them. Though you may have a busy schedule and a lot on your mind, don’t forget to make time to show your pet how much you love them. Even the little things, like giving them extra pets and treats, make a big difference in their lives. Treat them as the important part of your family that they are, and include them in new activities whenever you can. Get your family involved in all aspects of taking care of your pets, and your life will be immeasurably enriched!