Pet Isolation

Last Tuesday was a bad day for our border collie, Missy. It was the day that the girls went back to school after eight weeks of remote schooling. Missy was devastated. She howled. It got me thinking about how much pets across the world will have enjoyed having their owners home during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Now that we humans have had a bit of a taste of what it is like to be socially isolated it is a good time to reflect on how our best mates feel left alone for long periods of time. Taking on any pet is a huge responsibility. We need to spend quality time with them every day and consider their welfare during the hours we are away from home. Some breeds of dogs are so human focussed that this can be a major challenge. Boredom can also create neighbour issues with constant barking which is one of the major complaints received by municipal councils.

Here are a few thoughts you may like to consider.

#1 Survival Basics

It should go without saying but here it is anyway. Water and shelter come first and foremost. Don’t assume. Check. Every day.

#2 Routine

Getting your pets into a regular routine will help them to understand what to expect and ease their anxiety. A vigorous morning walk followed by a rib bone or treat will settle them down for the day while you are at work. At the end of the day, it could be another walk or ball game before dinner; whatever works best for your routine. Just remember, like children they just want to spend time with you even if you have to multi-task and make a few calls or enjoy a cup of coffee outside with them.

#3 Company

Not all of us are lucky enough to have the space or budget to care for two pets but there is no doubt that this is beneficial when you are away at work. Fortunately, there are other options. Doggy Day Care is an emerging industry as is dog walking as a home business with teenagers and those who like to keep fit. Why not a play date with a friend’s pet, taking turns to spend the day at each other’s house?

#4 Stimulation

Toys and especially those that act as treat dispensers provide great stimulation for pets. And don’t forget to rotate the toys so there is something fresh and new. For some, a radio playing in the background may be soothing, and with technology, there are other innovative ways to provide a human touch. One family member admits to ringing her cat and talking to her via the answering machine during an overnight trip. Sadly, the cat never got back to her!

At the end of the day we do the best we can. Just give it a bit of thought and your best mate will appreciate your efforts.


Elise Brown is the owner of Fair Dinkum Dog Coats and lives with her human and fur family members in central Victoria.