Pets can bring some of the greatest joys to our life, but they can also bring some of the greatest challenges. Much like raising a child, it can often “take a village.” This is where the benefits of hiring a petsitter can truly change not just your life, but the life of your beloved pet. We only want the best for our pets – the best diet, the best veterinary care, and the best home. This is why a lot of pet parents can feel guilt, worry, and even anxiety when they have to leave their pet alone for extended periods. Sometimes this on a daily basis for work, and you have to be out of the house for most of the daytime hours. Sometimes you must leave your pet multiple days for a vacation, or emergency travel. But no matter what the reason, leaving your pet, whether for extended hours or multiple days, can and does impact the quality of their life through both their physical health, and their psychological well-being.
What Happens When Your Pet Gets Bored
There are many things that can happen when an animal is left alone for extended periods of time. These challenges occur not only when leaving a dog, but also when leaving cats, or even birds.
Many of us are familiar with the results of a bored dog. These are behaviors such as destroying furniture and things in the home, excessive vocalizing such as barking or crying, inappropriate digging, or even getting into things they normally would leave alone like the trash, or other personal items. Boredom in dogs can result in an undue amount of stress, which if severe and chronic enough, can even shorten their life span.
Cats react much the same way to boredom that dogs do, but can also exhibit it in additional ways such as overeating. According to Purrfect Cat Breeds, cats can even go to the other end of the spectrum with boredom and stop eating. Other signs of a bored cat include excessive sleeping, excessive shedding, or not using the litter box.
Our feathered friends are just as prone to boredom as our furry ones. The consequences of a bird, like a parrot, becoming bored include increased or new biting, screeching, or self-mutilation like feather plucking. An article on Petcha suggests that birds may even become depressed if they are bored, stating that your bird possibly ” seems droopy, and things that used to hold its interest have lost their spark.”
Much like humans, chronic boredom in animals can be extremely distressing to them, and damaging to their well-being. As stated in this NPR report, “If animals — no matter their smartness quotient — are forced to endure boredom for a long time, seriously negative consequences may accrue.”
Emotional Benefits of Hiring a Petsitter
On the other hand, when your pets have regular stimulation, interaction, and exercise from a pet sitter their happiness, physical health, and life span can soar! The emotional well-being in all of these species, much like humans, vastly improves when they have lots of opportunities to play and interact.
An active lifestyle for dogs, which typically includes exercising at least twice a day, includes a marked reduction or total elimination of destructive behaviors. A tired dog is obviously less likely to have to find other outlets for their energy. Exercise, interaction, and play will also boost the self confidence of your dog. Dogs who have the opportunity to go out during the day are more exposed to other people and dogs, and have the opportunity to develop more positive social interactions.
Cats also have an increased emotional well-being when they receive higher amounts of interaction and exercise. This includes reducing your cat’s stress, stabilizing sleeping and eating patterns, and can also reduce problematic behaviors like excessive licking, and marking outside the litter box.
Having a pet sitter for your bird can work wonders for their socialization. When they have interaction and play with a variety of people, their social skills increase, as well as, their confidence, similar to dogs. This also gives them the opportunity to learn positive behaviors through play, and according to another article on Petcha, it can “keep your parrot tame and loving and provides her with a sense of security.”
Physical Benefits of Hiring a Petsitter
On top of increasing emotional health, there are numerous physical benefits that your pet receives from the regular exercise and human interaction a petsitter can provide.
Besides staving off destructive and unwanted behaviors, regular exercise and play for your dog can help to manage their digestive health and wealth, establish regular sleeping patterns, and can help relieve joint stiffness in dogs that have arthritis. According to Pet Meds News, exercise can even be, “good for cardio-related diseases such as hypertension and diabetes as well as serving as an important part of therapy if these conditions are already exist.”
Numerous physical benefits exist for your cat when they get the appropriate amount of play. This includes increased joint flexibility, weight control that can stave off diabetes, improved circulation and bone strength, and like dogs, can help with arthritis.
Play and interaction for birds encourages the use of their feet and their beaks, much like they would in the wild. This, in turn, increases their skills for balance and dexterity that they use for perching, climbing, and eating. Play increases their exercise which is great for maintaining their overall health.
At first glance, the benefits of hiring a petsitter may seem limited to providing meals and relieving your own worry. But as we have discussed, there are numerous benefits, both emotional and physical, for your pets, including increased confidence, and reduction or improvement in chronic diseases With an increase in these areas, your pets can live longer, happier lives, and you can feel a great increase in your own peace of mind knowing that your pet is being cared for to the utmost of your ability.
If you’re interested in learning more about the services we have to offer, or have additional questions on hiring a petsitter, please contact us! We offer daily private dog walks to increase your dogs physical health and prevent boredom. We also offer drop in visits for cats, birds, and other pets where we can provide play and interaction to help break up their day. We offer free consultations to make sure we are a fantastic fit for your family, and to explain exactly what we can do for you, and your pet. We provide services for all types of pets, including exotic animals as well. You can reach out to us here, or give us a call at 757-632-6334.