Many of us have spent much more time than usual at home with our beloved emotional support pet during COVID lockdowns. Coronavirus has been a difficult period for most people. But a silver lining to the COVID cloud has been the fact that most of us have got to spend more time than we otherwise would with our ESA best friends.
All of these extra hours spent with our emotional support pets have strengthened the bonds we share with them. Long months of lockdowns, often with only our ESAs for company, have meant that our bonds with our emotional pets have grown deeper and stronger.
But it looks like COVID may finally be getting under control. Numbers of sick people have been decreasing across the country, and vaccines seem to be starting to do their job. Lockdowns are gradually being wound down and our freedoms to do what we want and go where we want are being restored. So as normalcy returns, how can we maintain our emotional support animal relationship when lockdown ends?
Maintaining Your ESA Relationship After Lockdown Ends
Not only have we grown closer to our emotional support pets during lockdown… they have also grown closer to us. ESAs offer us invaluable emotional support, friendship, and love. But ESAs also depend on receiving love, care, attention, and friendship from us. It is a mutually beneficial, win/win relationship. And during COVID lockdowns, that relationship has only strengthened.
It is crucial for the emotional wellbeing of both ourselves and our beloved emotional support pets that we maintain our strong ESA relationship after lockdown ends. An abrupt weakening or disruption of the ESA relationship would have negative effects on both ESA and owner.
Do Dogs Get Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety in pets is absolutely real. ESA dogs and other pets develop strong emotional attachments to their human companions and carers. When an ESA is separated from their owner, it can lead to sadness, depression, anxiety, and rash and dangerous behavior.
How Can I Improve My Relationship With My Pet?
You can improve your relationship with your emotional support pet by treating it well, offering love, play, and companionship. It is also crucial that you exercise your ESA (if they’re an animal that needs it, such as a dog), take care of its health and fitness requirements, and feed it healthy food.
Finally, to improve your relationship with your pet, you should train it to handle being separated from you for periods of time. It is important for the health of your relationship and for the wellbeing of your pet that it is capable of spending time alone.
How Do You Ease Your Dog Out Of Lockdown?
It is best to ease your dog out of lockdown gradually. A sudden change of situation, such as you going from being at home all day to being out all day, can be stressful and anxiety-provoking for your dog. Gradually ease your dog into the experience of spending more time away from you by introducing short periods of separation.
Here are six tips for continuing to stay close to your ESA after going back to a more “normal” lifestyle after lockdown.
1. Introduce Any Change Of Routine Gradually
To prevent your ESA getting distressed and experiencing separation anxiety, you should introduce any change in routine gradually. Build up to the fully changed routine by introducing a short period of separation to get your ESA ready to spend more time away from you. This will allow your relationship to stay strong as lockdown ends.
2. Work From Home A Few Days A Week, If Possible
If you have the opportunity, continue to work from home a few days each week even after lockdown ends. This will mean that you get to spend more time with your ESA and the shock of lockdown ending will be mitigated. This will maintain the strong relationship you have built with your ESA.
3. Consider Doggie Daycare
Time apart is healthy in any relationship. Dogs love the company of other dogs. If you can afford it, sending your ESA to a doggie daycare facility for one or two days a week can be a great experience for your pet. It can also improve your relationship with your ESA dog.
4. Go For Lots Of Walks
It is crucial for your ESA’s health, as well as for the health of your relationship, that you continue to take your dog for lots of walks. Your ESA, and you, will have become accustomed to a certain amount of exercise during lockdown. It is important that you continue to go for as many walks as possible.
5. Make Plenty Of Time For Play
Never stop playing with your ESA! Even when lockdown is over and you have more things vying for your time, always make sure to prioritize playtime with your ESA. Also, take some weekend road trips. Taking a road trip into nature with your emotional support dog is a great way to bond.
6. Never Miss An Opportunity For Cuddling
There is no such thing as too much cuddling! One of the best ways to maintain your relationship with your ESA after lockdown ends is to cuddle up together, particularly after you’ve been out all day.
How Do You Get An Emotional Support Pet Letter?
If your pet does not yet have ESA status, now is the time to get yourself an ESA letter. Getting an ESA letter will mean that your pet can travel with you on public transport, fly in the cabin of most commercial airplanes, and live in “No Pets Allowed” properties.
To get an ESA letter, set up a telemedicine consultation with a medical professional through the Moosh online clinic. Once your suitability for ESA ownership is verified, you will be immediately emailed a certified emotional support animal letter. It is a quick and easy process.