I don’t know about your pets, but our canine, feline and avian members of the household thrive on a schedule.
They are fed at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily and for at least those two times of day they seem to be able to tell time.
Our pool cleaner comes on Tuesday and Kodi is stretched out in that flat to the floor Corgi stretch, watching the pool deck.
Last week the schedule changed drastically when the leader of the pack, my hubby, had to be admitted to the hospital. I would leave every morning and spend most of the day at the hospital.
So the 6 a.m. feeding was on schedule, but the treat times (Oh yes, there are designated treat times during the day) and the evening meals were delayed.
Typically I get up earlier than my husband and after breakfast Kodi returns to the bedroom and stays with him, while Buddy is with me in the family room. While my husband was gone, Kodi was totally out of sync and didn’t know what to do.
The other adjustment was not being able to go out all day—Our dogs are spoiled. We both work from home so they are rarely alone. All of that changed last week and I have to brag on my pups—They were fantastic.
I put down puppy training pads for the long days. Some days I came home and the pads were clean and dry—It isn’t healthy for them to hold it all day—so I was actually happier when I had seen they had used it.
Things are getting back to normal, hopefully.
Stress can be caused by a number of events in your pet’s life, a life-long friend going off to college, divorce or separation, illness, and vacations — even when you take them with you!
Tips if you have to change your pet’s schedule:
1. Extra time – I cannot stress this enough. My dogs didn’t know what was going on, only that someone was missing. When I was home I made time to sit with them, cuddle and comfort.
2. Potty breaks – Puppy pads or someone to check on them during the day. I prefer the pads because I don’t want to have to worry about them getting away from someone, just they way I worry. They are adult dogs and while I am leaving a pad out they aren’t using it.
3. Treats – I didn’t want them to put on weight, but wanted to give them extra treats for being so good so I cut the treats in half.
4. Schedule – Return to a normal schedule as soon as you can. Dogs (and even the cat and bird) like to have control over their environment and a schedule is an important part of that.