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Post Lockdown: Reducing Overwhelm

Posted 6th Jun 2021

Post Lockdown: Reducing Overwhelm



We’ve been keeping tabs on the news and what’s happening to the animals from the lockdown pet boom. Although we’re saddened that so many are being sent to other homes or shelters, one issue keeps popping up that we think we can shed some light on - pets getting scared in public places.


For a lot of owners last year they got their first pet. Some had pets growing up, some have never had a pet before, but a problem many are facing is taking their pet into volumes of people. For an animal that was born or grew up during lockdown, the chances are this isn’t normal, of course they don’t understand. Our normality of bustling streets and many feet coming towards them just isn’t something they’ve seen before.


In a ‘normal’ world the streets would have continued to be busy, the parks full and the car parks bustling with all manner of creatures. Without this ‘normal’ our new pets didn’t have the opportunity to be desensitised by this and now find themselves increasingly overwhelmed by these scenarios.



Build up slowly

There’s no easy way to get over an anxiety - we’ve all been there. Looking at the root of the problem, your pet is getting overwhelmed because they don't know what to do and there's too much going on. Just like your original training, they’re going to be looking to you to understand what you expect of them in any situation. By going back to basics and increasing the amount of things happening at any one time, you can take control and insure that as the levels increase, they remain calm throughout.


Find a trusty friend

Find an older pet that knows the ropes. You know who we’re talking about. The one who walks around, not like they own the place, but they’re so comfortable with what’s going on it would take a lot to throw them out of kilter (and even if something did happen they’d only look at you like you were an idiot!) You’re looking for a companion to do some practice with. Once they know you and your pet, your pet will know they can trust them. Then it’s time to head out. By letting this friend go first, your pet can follow what they do. If they feel worried, they can look to see what their friend is doing and know how to act.


Remember to be patient

The biggest exacerbation of this overwhelm is if owners are unable to be patient. Your pet might stop and not want to move or react in a way that turns heads, but it’s so important to work through this. By not addressing the problem your pet is going to continue to react in an unwanted way or this reaction could get worse. Keep going, don’t give up and allow them the time to work it out.


We hope everyone is having more and more success with their training heading back into the normal world. If you feel that your pet’s anxiety is going to be hard to work through and are in some need of extra help try Proflax Natural Calm & Collected or Scullcap & Valerian Tablets, and don’t forget your local trainer will always be able to help!

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