Lessons from the pandemic: How the relationship with our pets continues to grow

(BPT) - The pandemic has brought with it a number of challenges, from quarantining to social distancing and remote working — all of which resulted in more time at home. For some, this meant more quality time with family, including pets. According to a survey by the makers of Seresto, more than one-in-three pet owners got a pet during the pandemic.

For many of us, pets were a source of comfort and unconditional love throughout the uncertainty. In fact, nearly three-in-four pet owners surveyed (73%) say their pet has become even more of an emotional companion during the pandemic. Most say their pets have raised their spirits (61%), made them feel less lonely (58%) and helped them cope with stress (57%).

And the number one benefit of having a pet? Unconditional love. Throughout the pandemic, the bond between pets and pet owners has grown stronger with a majority (76%) of people agreeing their pets have made them a better person.

Preparing for post-pandemic transitions

The pandemic has changed the relationship between people and pets, with some pets only knowing a life with their owners at home. As cities and communities across the country begin to open back up, many families are preparing to head back to the office and school in person again, making it harder for some people to leave the house and their pets for longer periods of time.

The survey showed that only one-third of pet owners who are working from home (32%) feel “very prepared” to leave their pets at home when they go back to the office, with some expecting their pets to be anxious, clingy, even worried while they’re gone.

Tips for strengthening the bond with your pet

It’s not just pets who will miss their owners. Pet owners want to spend more time with their pets too, proving just how unique that relationship with our pets truly is. According to the survey, the relationship with our pets is mutually beneficial, held strong by the bonds of unconditional love.

Pet owners say the top benefits pets provide are keeping us company, improving our mood and showing unconditional love. Taking care of our pets, protecting them and showing unconditional love in return will help you both prepare for the changes ahead. Here are three tips to get you started.

  1. Create a predictable routine. One way to prepare for an upcoming change is to create a predictable routine. This may include regular sleep, wake and mealtimes. You can also get your pet used to you being gone by leaving the house for small periods of time, then expanding that time period with every excursion.

  2. Catch up on pet wellness activities. Before schedules get busy with post-pandemic commitments, catch up on important pet wellness activities. If you're behind on annual veterinarian visits, schedule one now. Ask your vet what other proactive measures you can take, like using Seresto to protect your pet from fleas and ticks. Many of us are getting back to the office, booking travel and spending less time at home. Seresto keeps your pets protected from fleas and ticks for eight continuous months, so you can focus on enjoying more time together.

  3. Plan for quality time. When you start your new schedule, remember that both you and your pet will experience many emotions. When you get home after being gone, plan for some quality time together. Pets provide so much love and companionship and, just like us, they have their own love languages. Maybe that’s going for walks, getting a treat, enjoying a scratch behind the ears or something else that makes them feel extra special. Think about what is meaningful to them and go out of your way to show them just how much they are loved.

As you ease back into a new schedule, paying attention to your pet and what they need will help both of you grow together. It’s those little things you learn about each other that make the companionship of having a pet such a special bond.

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