Stress-free return to routine for your pets in just 7 steps

While we go back to routines, work, classes and the hustle of everyday life, pets also go through an adaptation period. And for everything to go as smoothly as possible, there are seven simple steps that can help our pets cope better with this time of year, reducing stress levels both for them and for the family environment.

Although for most cats getting back to their routine is very pleasant, sometimes for dogs it can get complicated. Cats tend to quickly express the usual behaviours: they quickly take over the house, ask to be fed and wake up their owners very early. But regarding dogs, although there are some that adapt very well to changes, there are others that become very confused and sad”, warns Joana Gomes, ZU veterinary doctor.

According to the expert, “during the holidays, the dogs that were lucky enough to accompany their owners, enjoyed their company and games throughout the day. Adjusting to an empty house can make them feel lonely and anxious. For these, it is necessary to establish discipline, consistency in schedules and an extra dose of patience. We should adopt a clear language, feed them a regular diet, and provide them with physical and/or mental exercise and rest periods”.

Joana Gomes also draws attention to the existence, for both dogs and cats, of “signs of separation anxiety that may arise”, so it is important to “manage and stop this behaviour, helping them feel calm and relaxed whenever the family is away from home”. The vet has no doubts that “if necessary, nutritional supplements or pheromones can help them”.

Veterinary doctor Joana Gomes advises the seven practical steps for the pets’ return to their routine:

  1. Grooming: after many dives and outdoor games, a good bath is the key to good hygiene and hydration of the fur and skin. But it is also the most recommended for returning home and... to the sofas!

  2. Clipping: consider according to the mats and knots in the pet’s fur. If the fur is damaged by the sun or sea water, it also allows for a more effective cleaning of the skin.

  3. External deworming: in principle, it was a precaution you took into account before traveling or taking your pet to a hotel, but make sure that no extra passengers are coming along upon their return home!

  4. Internal deworming: ensure that the delicacies eaten had no hidden parasites.

  5. Veterinary check-up with more attention to the pet’s paws: longer walks or different floors from the usual ones can cause injuries to their paws’ pads. In cases where you suspect that your pet is anxious to have returned to its usual routines, talk to the veterinarian in order to find a solution for your four-legged friend.

  6. After the aggressions caused by the summer’s sun and salt water, it can be important to reinforce your pet’s diet with supplements for their skin and fur. Consult your veterinarian for the best options.

  7. If the pet’s bed has also gone on vacation, it should be washed and dried in the sun. If that is not possible, a disinfectant solution should be used in order to eliminate bacteria or other agents that may have hitched a ride.

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