How the Coronavirus is Negatively Affecting Pets' Mental Health
Contrary to popular belief, pets may not be benefitting from the excess amount of time their owners are spending at home—there’s a litany of factors at play that could be taking a detrimental toll on a pet’s health.
In general, animals are very intuitive and often pick up on their owners’ mood just by changes in body language or tone of voice and take on those feelings themselves.
“Pets pick up subliminal messages, and they are going to pick up on anxiety and stress,” says Dr. Chad Dodd, veterinarian. “Anytime when there are changes in our daily routine, it’s going to disrupt our pets.”
He adds that “pets live in the moment,” meaning that they don’t understand that their owners are busy working and can’t give them constant attention. The flip side of the coin is that all that extra quality time is increasing the bond between pets and their owners.
However, indulging pets with attention at all times can lead to severe separation anxiety once everyone’s back on their regular schedule. It’s recommended to spend at least an hour away from pets every day and to keep their routine as normal as possible, meaning that mealtimes need to be kept the same and owners should refrain from overindulging their pets with treats.