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Blogs and Stories

June 25, 2020
Amy Wade Carotenuto

Our Pet's New Normal

We are in an age of a new "normal" and we are adjusting. What will this mean for our furry and feathered friends when we return to our workplaces after weeks or months of being at home with them all day every day?

Most animals are social beings that thrive on affection and attention. So what happens when we take away the hours of devotion that we’ve been heaping on them while on quarantine? They grieve of course! They don't understand why we aren’t around continually giving them loads of attention anymore. Some animals may even go into a depression. Some may act out with bad behaviors and some may even stop eating for a while. We, as pet owners, need to understand that the overload of attention that we have been showing our pets during this trying time has become their new "normal".

This applies to newly adopted pets as well. Humane societies saw an influx of adoptions as people were home and found this to be the perfect time to devote to a new furry friend. Many of these pets received more attention than they ever had. They will have a difficult time understanding why their new humans are now not spending the same amount of time with them. It is our job as responsible pet owners to make sure that this transition time is not scary and that we make them as comfortable as possible. What can we do to help this process? We can introduce a crate for those pets that are more skittish and may need a place to decompress. Most animals like a spot that is theirs and where they can go to feel safe. Make sure to put some of the pet's favorite items in it - toys, blankets, stuff that smells of you, and yummy treats. If you feel that your pet would not benefit from a crate then you can do the same in the area where your pet feels most comfortable. This could be in a closet, under a bed, or a favorite lounging spot. Perhaps the TV or radio can be left on to help the house not be so quiet.

Remember that these changes don't just affect your dogs and your cats but your feathered family members as well. Birds can be very sensitive to change and become depressed easily. This could result in feather plucking or self-mutilation. It is best to speak to your avian veterinarian for tips on how to best transition your particular bird. In the meantime, you can slowly spend more time away from your bird to slowly acclimate them to having less attention.

Don't forget that pet owners can reach out to their local humane societies and veterinarians for tips and tricks to help pets transition during this reintroduction to our world's new "normal". We at Flagler Humane Society are available to speak to owners who are in need of some assistance. No question is a dumb question so reach out if you or your pet find yourselves overwhelmed and in need.

FHS is transitioning over to our new "normal" as well. Some programs are being updated. Many of our medical programs are changing, including telemedicine. Following CDC guidelines, our kids summer camp is happening with temperature checks, smaller groups and outdoor fun. We’re even unveiling a brand new website. So, make sure to visit us virtually or in person & come see our New Normal.