Pets for life, not just ISO

While there has been a surge in the number of animals being adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, animal welfare groups want to remind people looking to adopt that pets are a life-long commitment.

WALKIES TIME: When you are considering adopting, remember a pet is for life and not just for a short period.

WALKIES TIME: When you are considering adopting, remember a pet is for life and not just for a short period.

"It is important for people who are thinking about pet adoption to consider if they will be able to look after the animal long-term," said Kieran Watsonfrom RSPCA NSW.

"All pets should be cared for the entirety of their life, sometimes 10 or 20 years, so you will need to be able to commit to them not just now but into the foreseeable future.

"Pets require care beyond food and water, they also need grooming, medical care, exercise, mental stimulation, and of course love."

With lockdown and ISO restrictions slowly lifting around the country, potential pet owners need to consider their long-term plans and outlook before committing to adopting a pet.

And while there are many benefits of having your furry friends around you all the time, if you are heading back to work in the future you should start planning ahead to help your pets cope better.

"Pets provide unconditional love and affection, providing stress release when we need them the most," said Mr Watson.

"Taking the dog for a walk is a great way to get out of the house and keep active, which might be hard or take a backseat once we get comfortable working from home.

"When you return to work, some pets might suffer some separation anxiety if you suddenly get up and leave them for hours when they have become accustomed to your company during the day."

Mr Watson said routine was the key to helping pets cope with being alone.

"Exercising your pets before you leave for work is a great way to tire them out but also stimulate their mind with some enrichment activities, such as hiding treats around the yard if they are food motivated," he said.

"Owning a pet is a big responsibility and pets thrive on routine. If you will need to change your current working conditions then start factoring that now into your interactions with your pet.

"If they are used to being inside 24/7 as you work from home, start slowly introducing some outdoor time where your pets can get comfortable being alone at times."

It can also be hard to resist a dramatic entrance when faced with an excited, cuddly cat or dog when arriving home.

But keeping it low key helps to teach your animal that coming and going is nothing to get excited (or anxious) about.

If you have given all the above factors much thought and still feel you have room in your life for a pet, then every animal made available for adoption from RSPCA NSW can be found online at www.rspcansw.org.au/adopt

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