Minding your pet's mental health

We are living in very strange times and whilst it is so important to look after our own mental health, it’s also important to think of our four legged friends too as they are also facing a “new normal”.

Perhaps their walks have been reduced in length or in frequency?

Maybe they’re missing their doggy friends they would play and explore with in the park?

Or maybe it’s simply getting used to having you in the house all the time that is impacting their behaviours?

Our pets assist our own mental health, simply by being there and as caring owners, it’s only right we return the favour!

So, we’ve pulled together our top tips to help our pets adapt to the new normal too:

 

Don’t forget to exercise…the brain and the body!

Whilst we may be restricted in terms of location, there are lots of ways to stimulate and engage your pet at home. We’ve touched on some of them in previous blogs - such as teaching your pet new tricks -  but there are many more ways.

Set up up a mini agility course for them in the garden! If you don’t have the space, don’t worry, simply ordering online (or making if you’re super crafty!) a new toy for indoors can help them exercise their brains. Use left over boxes to jump over or home made tunnels to crawl through. 

Lure them through with toys or treats, but make sure to rotate the toys you have available to ensure your pet does not get bored.

 

Play hide and seek

A childhood favourite, many of our reminisce playing this with our childhood pup! Stimulating the senses is a part of our pet's wellbeing.

Simply hide treats or toys around your home and encourage your pet to find them. This will check both boxes in our first point – mental and physical exercise.

 

dog standing looking out a window

 

Access to light and a window

We know that unfortunately, not all pet owners will have access to a garden, terrace or even a balcony for fresh air. If this is the case, try to ensure there is space for your pet near a window.

Not will this allow them to get some much needed fresh air, but it will also provide some stimulation for them to watch the world go by.

 

Play Pup Fiction

Spotify have launched a ‘My Dog’s Favourite Podcast’ – Pup Fiction. Narrated by Ralph Ineson (Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Chernobyl, The Office), the podcast has hours of soothing sounds and friendly chat for your pooch.

We tested this with Iterim Marketing Manager Gemma's own two doggos who definitely approve. "I have to be honest and say that as a human, it’s working on me too!"

 

It's really important to monitor your pets’ behaviour, especially in these trying months in order to identify anything strange or out of character. They can’t tell us when they’re stressed, worried or unhappy, so it’s up to us as their humans! A good cuddle goes a long way too. :) 

golden lab hugged by family