THE DOG CHRONICLE – “Enough already!” Although our pets have enjoyed having their pet parents at home, many are signaling they are completely over us.
Oh, how the tables have turned!
One decidedly “indoor cat” determined the great outdoors wasn’t so bad after all, according Hirow Peralta, explaining his once clingy cat Karban now occupies a private penthouse on the roof of his house thanks to the pandemic.
“She’s so tired of me being home she became an outside cat,” said Peralta in an article published in Slate.
Once attention-starved cats and dogs now yearning for a bit more alone time are finding it where they can in the back of closets, under beds and under increasingly smaller piles of laundry.
Don’t these people get dressed anymore?
One dog owner, Calvin Brown, says his pup stopped begging for treats and performing pet tricks soon into the pandemic.
Why bother begging when there’s plenty of plates and half-open snack bags lying around 24/7, says Brown. Henotes, like many Americans, he’s a part of the Quarantine-15, a pandemic-fostered phenomenon responsible for elevating boredom binges to an artform and a weight gain.
“My guess is the novelty has worn off. Although I don’t think (my dog) wants a divorce, I see clear signs that she wouldn’t mind some distance,” says Brown.
As much as more alone time may be clearly needed, merely ”walking out” cold is sure to prompt separation issues.
That transition back to more normal routines may be a difficult one, according to pet experts, who say it is important to begin gradually introducing adjustments now.
Months of preparation are better than weeks, according to pet experts who remind us that our pets like routines.
Returning to whatever normal is ahead is going to be an adjustment for everyone. Recommendations include:
Experts recommend that we adjust awakening and sleep times, mealtimes and alone time incrementally, similar to the way many households incorporate back-to-school habits.
Find ways to leave your pet alone for longer stretches of time. Leave them home when you run errands and take longer walks without them.
For pandemic pets, the transitions need to be even more gradual.
Think 15-minute increments: Take a short walk around the block without your dog, gradually increasing time away from minutes to hours.
Your pet will let you know if you’ve gone too far by acting out. If they begin chewing things or peeing on the carpet, take a step back and try shorter bouts until they get more comfortable.
Introduce interesting diversions, like new chew toys to distract them while you are away.
Many pet owners are considering investing in doggy day care programs or other low-cost alternatives like pet-sharing as they begin to prepare for their new normal routines.
Any change to routines should be introduced as gradually as possible according to experts, who recommend as early an introduction to new caregivers and environments as possible.