Don't Take a Vacation From Your Pet's Routine
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So the kids are out of school or you’re taking some time off from work? If your schedule changes, you should consider your pets’ scheduling needs as well. Your altered schedule won’t make much sense to your pets and it could cause them some transitional stress. Routine helps dogs and cats feel safe. Here are some thoughts that may run through your pet's mind when suddenly they find their Pet Parent at home enjoying vacation or time off from work and tips to help you keep their routine on track:
- "Why are you still in bed?!" If you want to sleep in during your vacation, look at it from your pets’ perspective. They expect you to start your day on schedule: out of bed, talk to pet, toilet break/walk for pet, breakfast for pet, leave pet for the day. If that changes, it can stress your pet. However, if you get up and provide the morning routine, THEN you can go back to bed for some extra morning shut-eye. If your pets are allowed on the bed, they’ll be thrilled by the additional snuggle time.
- "Are you still here?" Your pets spend much of their time sleeping when you’re out of the house. When your schedule changes to include more people-time at home, your pets will be thrown off schedule. Kids at home often insist that pets be included in their activities. Make sure that dogs and cats get plenty of time alone, and a safe place, for their necessary naps.
- "I’m starving!" If people are home, it must be meal time! Many pets are conditioned to think that it’s time to eat when you walk in the door at the end of your day. Don’t let your pets fool you into feeding them extra meals and snacks just because you’re at home.
- "Where are you going now?" During vacation time, you might spend a longer day, or several days, away from home. Arrange a friend or professional sitter to visit your pets and provide their usual routine for feeding, playtime and bathroom duty. If that isn’t possible at home, consider a good boarding facility.
Remember, stick to your usual routine as much as possible and enjoy a little down time with your pets.