Over quarantine, my dog has gotten used to me playing with him all the time. How can I make him feel less sad when things begin to open up and I am not home as much?
Thank you, Concerned Pet Owner
Dear Concerned Pet Owner,
Thanks so much for writing. It is sweet that you care so much about your pet. Bridging the transition between quarantine and normal life will be difficult for everyone, but especially our animals. It is essential to make the transition gradual, as not to shock your dog too much. The most important thing you can do is set up a routine. By doing this you ensure your dog will not become stressed by a sudden change in schedule. Begin waking up around 30 minutes earlier than you usually do, and give them exercise in the morning. This way your dog will both be used to taking walks before you leave for school or work and it will help them release some energy so they will not be as anxious while you are away. Next, it is important to prepare them for you leaving the house. Set up regular times to leave the house, whether you are running errands or meeting up with friends, keep it during your normal work hours. This will help your dog become used to your absence during the day. Lastly, leave your dog with something to entertain them. A toy can go a long way when trying to prevent anxiety in your dog. Turning on music for your dog can also help them relaxed while you are gone. Leaving them with something to keep them preoccupied can make them feel at home, even when you are not. I hope all goes well, just do not forget to pet-proof your house before leaving, unless you want to come home to a mess.
How should I prepare myself should we have another prolonged power outage?
Sincerely, Scared of the Dark
Dear Scared of the Dark,
Thank you for your message. Power outages are tough for everyone. They affect our lives and change things we would usually take for granted, such as electricity and Wi-Fi. There are a few steps you can take that will prepare you for the next power outage and ensure you are as comfortable as possible. First of all, always make sure your devices are charged. If you feel a storm coming, plug in your devices immediately. You do not know how long the power will stay out for, so you will want all of your devices fully charged. It is extremely wise to invest in a portable charger, as well as downloading some movies to keep you entertained through the outage. It can be helpful to create a “power-outage box” in case of emergencies. You can store your portable charger in this, along with candles, flashlights, matches, batteries, and anything else you feel might come in handy. Books, board games, and art supplies are nice additions to keep you entertained throughout the day. By storing everything together, you are always prepared for an outage and you will not be caught off guard. Some other key tips are: do not open your refrigerator for too long and try to keep your doors closed to preserve heat, especially if you have an electrical heating system. Most importantly, stay calm. Power outages can be scary, but the lights always come back on, and it is a great opportunity for you to make the most of it and spend time with your family.
Hope this helps,