Post-pandemic life for your pets could be anxiety-ridden

Being stuck at home has taken its toll on more than just people. While some furry and feathered housemates have been living their best lives with their owners at home, others find spending weeks cooped up with humans stressful.

“I think a lot of dogs and cats are experiencing anxiety, right now with people being home.”

Veterinarians warm that signs of anxiety can range from whining to chewing, to barking, pacing, or acting odd. Dr. Nichole Crainick with Lake Emma Animal Hospital in Lake Mary said car owners should give their cats needed space. Sometimes animals want to be left alone. She said pets will let you know when they want attention.

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For crate-trained animals, she recommended continuing to keep them in their crates even when owners are home. This reaffirms that the crate is a safe space, and sometimes dogs feel safer in the crate than out of it. She also suggested doing activities.

“There are a lot of great ideas out there. There’s things that you can make at home, brain games that you can play with your pet. Most of them do involve food so make sure you're not overfeeding your pet.”

When it comes time for pet owners to head back to work, Dr. Crainick says dogs are the most impacted by you leaving. To help calm them, leave on the TV or radio. She said dogs love classical music and even reggae.

And before you transition back to the office, start to slowly spend more and more time away from the home, reinforcing to them that you are going to come back.