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Disrupted routines

Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic and associated government restrictions, our routines seem to be constantly changing. If we are finding this difficult to manage, imagine how confused our pets may be feeling! 

Domestic animals rely on stable routines to thrive, which means that disruptions can cause them a lot of stress. Though not all pets will react in the same way, alterations such as staying home from work on different days, having the kids out of school or absent family members due to illness can create a tense atmosphere for some animals. 


But are there consequences of disrupted routines on our pets' health? 

In the same way that stress can cause changes in our physical and mental health, it can cause similar problems in our furry friends. 

Here are some of the ways that stress can manifest: 

  • Changes in sleeping patterns, eating habits or house soiling – These are usually the issues that owners notice more often; however, they can also be easily neglected or mistaken for age-related changes in older pets; 

  • Increased vocalisations or attention-seeking behaviour – Changes in how frequently and insistently your pet tries to call your attention may be an early sign of stress;

  • Unusual aggressiveness – Aggressiveness can be associated with pain from injuries or chronic illness, but bouts of aggressive behaviour towards people or pets might happen due to changes at home that increase your pets' stress levels.

Knowing that this can happen and keeping a keen eye on your pets' habits can make recognising these signs much easier. 

Even though it might be difficult, making an effort to be consistent with old routines or taking the time to change them slowly (when possible) can help avoid undue stress! 

Don't forget, many underlying conditions like kidney disease, diabetes or osteoarthritis, among others, can also cause similar behavioural changes! If you do notice anything unusual, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian. 
Published: 05 Feb 2021

Read the previous article: Staying fit in 2021