Pets. The unsung heroes of quarantine!
Were you one of those seeking some company from man’s best friend for the lockdown?
Well, you were not alone!
As well as benefiting an animal, having a pet around can help with people’s mental health – especially if they are on their own, and it seems that in a pandemic-mandated quarantine we thought it might be the best time to bring a pet into our lives.
“Research supports that being around our dog makes us feel good”
Pets have been shown to help ease feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression making them seemingly ideal companions for a situation that demands isolating ourselves from friends, family, and our normal day-to-day interactions. Pets can also force us to get off the sofa every few hours – which is perhaps even more important during this time!
In March, as the threat of lockdown loomed, it was reported that Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs Trust & RSPCA were inundated with requests – they rehomed more than twice the number of animals than during a similar period last year! Families and couples with plans to get a dog after their holidays (which have now been cancelled), or when they are in a position to be home more were able to bring their plans forward – what better time to bring your new pooch home!?
It is ideal for pet owners to try and stay at home when their dog is first bedding in, so the lockdown proved to be a perfect time for animals to acclimatise to their new lives. Plus it’s given owners the excuse to procrastinate from work to teach their new pup a few new tricks, or take photos at any given opportunity – or even increase their chances at becoming Tik-Tok famous! You must have seen the ‘level up’ challenge? (Which actually just uncovered all the toilet roll stockpilers!)
Shelters didn’t only see people wanting to re-home dogs permanently, but also foster on a temporary basis which is great for us humans but also generally preferable for the dog than being housed in a rehoming shelter. Fostering allows dogs to socialise in a family situation and it is said to permit their real nature to grow and their temperament to become apparent with people and other dogs – this all prepares the dog for domestic life and raises their chances of future adoption!
During a time of such uncertainty, having something to focus on other than your own anxieties and fears is what we need. Having a dog forces your household into a new routine – the type of schedule and consistency that experts say is crucial during such turbulent times. You have to get up early to feed and let them outside, you must ensure they eat meals at regular intervals, you set time aside to train them and take them for some exercise on your 1 hour outdoor activity quota – plus they’re just adorable and guarantee to make you smile even on days you don’t really feel like smiling!
But however wonderful, dog ownership is a lifelong commitment which must be carefully considered. We really need people to think about what might happen on the other side of this outbreak when everybody is hopefully back to their usual routines and have other commitments…
“When this is over, people who have adopted these animals might
find they don’t have time for them, or they ignore them.”
“A dog is for life, not just for self-isolation”
So, what are you going to do now you are back at work?
At Digs for Dogs, we know puppies are amazing, but they also bring new responsibility which can be a concern for owners who are at work or out of the house for long periods. You will have just spent the last few months with your four legged friend, 24/7 – you want a trustworthy, professional Dog Walker who is flexible and has a fantastic reputation – look no further!
Now, who will look after your new pride & joy when you go on holiday?
When the world reopens and you can take that long awaited holiday, you need to be confident that your four-legged friend will receive the same amount of love and attention that they are used to. Digs for Dogs provides the perfect alternative to kennels with our Dog Home Boarding service, expertly matching your dog with a loving home boarder to give you complete peace of mind that your pet is cared for whilst you’re away.
Or… how about being a host family?
To all you lovely people who have fostered pets during the lockdown, you are going to have to (reluctantly) return them now you’re back to a normal routine, and so they can go on to adoption. You’ll miss the company and the love a dog brings to a household that’s for sure, but you know you can’t commit to having a dog full time (which is the reason you don’t have one already) – the perfect solution…..
Being a home boarder brings all the benefits of having a dog at home, but without the full-time responsibility of owning one yourself.
We are still currently suspending all services to comply with government guidelines, but if you do have any questions then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!