The Australian population has had to endure lengthy lockdowns all over the country due to COVID-19 and as a result many were forced out of jobs or had to adapt to a ‘working from home’ lifestyle. Because of this, many families, couples, and singles struggled with the lack of socialisation and loneliness, which turned many towards growing their household with pets.
2020 saw a huge rise in pet adoption, with some pet rescues doubling in adoptions compared to previous years and even breeders developing waiting lists well into 2021.
However, this celebratory rise in people getting pets has also brought some concerns to the surface. One of them being fears of what will happen once people start returning to work. A lot of pets take time to settle into new environments and changes and the realities of dealing with a cat or dog with anxiety may be too much for some owners.
If you identify with this fear of returning to work, then it’s highly recommended to start the routine a while before you start back. Practice leaving your pets at home alone for small periods and then building this up over time, this will help them get used to you leaving the house. When you do leave the house, do not make a scene or a big fuss as this will alert your pets that there is something to be anxious about. Be sure to leave your pets with enrichment toys that will keep them occupied during the time you’re away. If their walking and food routine has changed during isolation, be sure to begin altering this back to one that works around your work schedule to prevent a sudden change in routine later.
Sometimes, even after doing all we can to prepare our pets for change, like going back to work, they can still suffer from separation anxiety. If this is the case for you and your pooch then you may want to look at additional options such as regular play dates, hiring a dog walker or someone to come spend time with your pets whilst you’re working, a behavioural trainer or even calming treatments. There are different calming treatments around that may assist you in ensuring your pet is okay during anxiety-inducing times. Speak to your local Just For Pets store about calming collars, treats, drops and other methods in keeping your four-legged friend feeling safe and secure. Please note that if you’re worried that your pet might have severe anxiety, then a trip to the vet is recommended.
If you are still working from home or having to isolate and are considering adding a furry friend to your family, then please consider the following before executing your decision. There are a lot of benefits to having a pet at home with you, but they are also a big commitment, and this should not be overlooked. To work out whether you are ready for it, you want to ask yourself if you are prepared to commit to 15+ years of care. This care includes financial support, and most pets aren’t cheap, not just the initial purchase. But ongoing costs such as food, vet bills and other pet necessities are also important expenses.
Another question to ask is whether the type of pet you’re wanting fits your lifestyle, for example, if you wish to get a dog you need to ask if you have adequate space and if you travel a lot or aren’t home a lot will you the time to train, walk and play with them? If you have existing pets, have you considered how they might adjust? These are just some basic concerns to think about before making the decision of getting a new pet.
Remember your local Just For Pets store is a wealth of knowledge, they are happy to help answer any questions you may have about bringing a pet into your family.