ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WFRV) – With more pet owners having to stay home due to the ‘Safer-At-Home’ order, our pets might be experiencing additional stress.
But there’s some good news- there are a few tips owners can learn to reduce their pet’s anxiety. In the face of COVID-19, Green Bay and Allouez Animal Hospital is seeing more behavioral issues and says owners need to take action now. With owners and family members home more, pets can experience stress, strain, and separation anxiety.
Dr. Becky Krull says while it may be great to be at home together, it can cause serious problems for both the pet and the owners.
“This is especially a problem for the pets that already had underlying issues but there are also people getting new pets during this time and they need to start taking action now so they are in a good place when this is lifted,” said Dr. Krull. “These new pets will be used to their owners being home so there are things they can do to make a smooth transition.”
Some signs of separation anxiety in dogs might include barking, howling, whining, scratching, chewing on door, drooling, and panting. A few ways to combat the issue and alleviate anxiety include:
- Sticking to a schedule
- Placing your pet in isolation so they get used to being alone (it’s important to leave the house without your pet)
- Increase the amount of time your pet is alone as you get closer to returning to work
- Place your pet in their kennel or another room alone at different times during the day
- Encourage them to enjoy independent activities with food puzzles and toys
- Stay calm if pets are agitated
- Play soothing music or sounds
“Their whole life revolves around us giving it to them and then you leave,” says Dr. Krull. “Now all of those resources are gone and that can be pretty anxiety-ridden, right? But if we teach them that it’s okay that we leave and we’re going to come back and they are independent, it certainly makes their life easier for them.”
The Allouez Animal Hospital is still open right now, Monday through Friday from 7:30 – 6 p.m. You can find more information as well as other helpful tips online right here as well as their Facebook page.