Where I Stand – Ease the transition for our pets

Ease the transition for our pets

While many of us spent recent months pining for pre-coronavirus routines, our animal companions had all their dreams come true. Dogs — who feel the same pleasure receiving praise as they do when offered a treat — got to spend all day with their favorite humans. Cats enjoyed snoozing on our laps, sniffing office supplies and crashing video meetings. But as states reopen and people return to work, the abrupt change in routine and absence of their human families can be extremely stressful for animals.

We can help ease the transition by starting — and sticking to — healthy routines. Before going to work, take your dogs on a long walk and set them up with interactive toys like a Kong filled with peanut butter to give them something to do. Make a plan so they aren’t forced to “hold it” all day: Come home during lunch, or ask a trusted person to help. Never crate a dog: It deprives dogs of their basic needs including the ability to stretch out and move around, and can lead to stress-related injuries such as broken teeth and fractured claws. And contrary to popular belief, crating can prolong and complicate housetraining.

Cats also thrive on consistency, so commit to regular feeding times, and play with them before and after work. Provide toys to keep cats stimulated, and consider adopting a compatible friend to join the furr-mily. For more tips on caring for animal family members, visit PETA.org.

Jessica Bellamy

The PETA Foundation