11 Jan Pets, Pandemic and Travel
Pandemic and pets isn’t really a good combination. While we as humans are too exposed to all the infection out in the air, our pets have a similar situation. Obviously the corona virus and now the Omicron variant have changed our lives in all these months, but it is certain that the cycle of life cannot come to a stand still. And as much everything is a part of it, so is travel. With all the covid issues, it actually gets a little harder for the pet parents. Therefore, Dr Jordan Schaul, an animal expert in conversation with Carry My Pet listed some of the pointers and keys that can make travelling easier and better during the pandemic with your pet pets.
Slow Down And Make Your Pet Comfortable
Coupled with important travel regulations imposed because of the public health crisis, pets now face new psychosocial stressors associated with a breakdown in communication when leaving home. Traveling induces plenty of stress for people and pets and it is now exacerbated by a need to wear masks for our protection and that of our pets because it hinders communication.
pets rely on our identity and facial expressions to help them navigate a human-dominated world. So, imagine how stressful it must be for a pet in transit in unfamiliar places to also be compromised in its ability to understand nonverbal behavior because they can’t see your face? When we wear face coverings, our pets are at a greater disadvantage than we realize. One thing we can do is slow down and be cognizant of how we deliver nonverbal cues and gestures as well as enunciate when speaking through a mask. When we can remove our masks, it is a good time to check in with our pets to provide the comfort of the familia
Expose Your Pet to Unfamiliar Environment
Besides their own heightened sensitivity to being overstimulated by novelty, pets pick up on the anxious energy exuded by humans faced with time constraints and other pressures associated with travel. To alleviate our pets’ fears, it can be helpful to expose them to unfamiliar environments through gradual introductions. This practice of desensitization and counter conditioning is useful anywhere but is not always pragmatic when we are talking about getting on a plane. What you can do, however, is give yourself and your pet plenty of time so that you don’t need to rush at last minute, which invariably increases stress. The objective is to reduce their anxiety by reducing yours.
Avoid New Things
Traveling is also not the time to try new things with our pets, but unfortunately, this is when people resort to force-based correction or use it for the first time. We need to be particularly prudent in choosing or adding new training modalities when our pets are likely to experience an inordinate amount of stress. The improper use of leash correction and at times when pets are already fearful and agitated can be a recipe for disaster. Some people use force to correct behavior when traveling because they are anxious and hurried. Introducing correction and positive punishment as part of a balanced obedience pet training program is best done when pets are in more familiar places and in more relaxed states.
It would be wonderful if pet parents implemented positive practices routinely, which can confer sustainable obedience. Unfortunately, long-term compliance is hard to come by. What may be idealized is often far different from what is practical and preferred given our busy lifestyles. Whether you are traveling or not and suspect you may need to employ corrections, learn from an experienced pet trainer.