These days, you’re home. A lot.
It is time to replace your office coffee break with a new one—a fun break with your pet!
Your pet has realized their world is different. You are now home a lot. Your dog has mastered the stop, drop and roll belly rub. Your cat has taken over your keyboard. They’ve become your new coworkers.
For your pet, life couldn’t be better.
Your cat rubs against your leg so often that a lint brush is now your top office supply. Your dog follows you wherever you go (the bathroom is fair game, too) or waits patiently until you return. When you reappear, the tail thumps, the happy dance begins, and they think, “Yes! You’re here!” Don’t get us wrong. You certainly may miss your coworkers at the office. But these days we will do just fine with high-fives from our pets.
For all of your pet’s love and devotion, show how much you love them, too. Keep them at their optimal mental and physical health with daily exercise! Take a joyful break with these activities:
- Play fetch (indoors or outside in a fenced-in area)
- Create an indoor obstacle course
- Explore the neighborhood on a new walk while practicing distancing (to keep your dog safe, make sure they are always on a leash)
- Hide treats around the house and let the scavenger hunt begin!
- Cats can naturally spend half of every 24 hours looking for and obtaining food. Use puzzle feeders and interactive toys to keep their hunting instinct satisfied!
- Play fetch or have a laser pointer chase
- Provide exercise incentives with catnip
- Buy a harness and go for a walk while practicing social distancing
We wish you a ton of fun!
One more thing, and it’s pretty important:
Being at home lets you observe your pet’s behavior. Did you know some common behaviors are due to underlying medical problems? For example, if you notice that your dog has been nipping, it may be a sign that he’s in pain. Your cat may also stop jumping on your lap—not because she is being unfriendly, but because she has arthritis and jumping hurts.
If these behaviors are left unchecked, it’s triple trouble. The behavior may worsen, the underlying medical condition may progress, and most importantly, your pet’s quality of life as a family member is compromised.
Animal Medical Center of Austin can help!
*Fitzgerald BM and Turner DC. Hunting behaviour of domestic cats and their impact on prey populations. In: Turner DC and Bateson P (eds). The domestic cat: the biology of its behaviour. 2nd ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp 151–175.