Well, here we are, experiencing our "new normal" which I think most of us can admit is anything but normal. And while all of you humans are having a tough time adjusting, your furry companions may be having an equally hard time being stuck indoors. Just like you, dogs at least were used to living a life where they were able to go outdoors, hang out with their puppy pals, and pee all over every bush and trash bag. But times have changed and now dogs and cats are spending as much time indoors as you are, if not more (last time I checked, pets weren't allowed to go food shopping.) So if you're looking for ways to keep your pets entertained while you're working—even though your coworkers probably love seeing your pets, you probably don't want them on EVERY zoom call—we have some tips to help.
1. Pet TV—though no replacement for the real thing, turning on the boob tube and switching to PET TV, so your pets can get their fill of pets gone wild, might help with some of their animal loneliness.
2. Exercise—just like you are still able to go outside and enjoy walks and runs around your neighborhood (with your masks on of course), your pets can, and should do the same (though they don't need masks). Getting your pets outdoors for exercise each day is not only a good way to keep them trim through their newfound sedentary lifestyle, it's also likely to tire them out and more naps for them = more quiet time for you.
3. Get inventive—whether or not you are still working, I'm sure you're finding ways to keep your brain working and your synapses firing. Well, pets need brain stimulation, too. So whether you decide to order them in, or create your own, animal play puzzles are a great way to keep them occupied, and you off the hook for constant entertainment. And if you want to get really adventurous and make your own, here's an easy one from the NYTimes:
Cupcake Puzzle: Take an empty cupcake baking tray and 12 (or as many as you have) tennis balls. Place treats or pieces of your dog’s kibble into some but not all of the baking tray’s cups, and cover all of the cups with the tennis balls. Show your dog the tray and see how long it takes for your dog to move the right balls to find the hidden food. Each time you play, change where you place the treats in the baking tray.
So, whether you and your pet are loving all the extra bonding time or are driving each other nuts, make sure you are giving each other lots of love, hugs and snuggles. In these weird times, humans and pets alike are more predisposed towards depression and anxiety. So do what you can to help keep each other smiling.
Til' next time,