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For many of the na­tion’s pets, lock­down has been a big ad­just­ment but some may find it tougher to get used to the idea of life af­ter lock­down. No longer will they have 24-hour com­pany and at­ten­tion from the whole fam­ily and, for many, this may be a bit­ter pill.

Of course, ev­ery in­di­vid­ual will re­act dif­fer­ently. Gen­er­ally, cats will re­joice once we get out of their hair, while our dogs may find them­selves wal­low­ing in self-pity and seek­ing more at­ten­tion when we are around.

While it may seem counter in­tu­itive, spend­ing all of our time with our pets can af­fect them neg­a­tively and lead to sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety. They be­come de­pen­dent on our com­pan­ion­ship and find it hard to cope when left to their own de­vices. There are things that we can do to set our pets up for suc­cess now, how­ever:

Make time ev­ery day for your pet to be alone. This may be in a crate if they’re trained, or in an­other room. Make sure they have some­thing to keep them oc­cu­pied.

Keep their rou­tine as close to nor­mal as possible. If they are used to hav­ing a walk at 7am then even though you may be able to have a lie in now, stick to the sched­ule.

Avoid chang­ing your be­hav­iour or the rules. It can be tempt­ing to spoil them dur­ing these un­cer­tain times but if they were never al­lowed on the bed or sofa, main­tain the con­sis­tency.

If you are stressed and emo­tional, re­mem­ber pets are sen­si­tive and may pick up on this, so try to stay as pos­i­tive as you can around them.

Pets could strug­gle when things go back to nor­mal

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