Pets struggling to adjust to pandemic circumstances

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Photo courtesy Lizzie Nelson

Junior Lizzie Nelson spends time with both of her dogs, as she is home all day now.

With quarantine and social distancing still in effect, people have been cut off from friends but are forming closer bonds with their pets than ever before. Pet owners have to keep in mind that their pets usually have the house to themselves and have safe spaces that they created throughout the house when the owner is gone. With pet owners being home and invading those spaces, pets may be having hard times adjusting.

Dogs usually find a safe space next to windows to be able to watch for when their owner comes back and be able to see what is going on outside, but now with owners home all the time dogs are more attached to their owners. Dogs are beginning to act as if they are toddlers attached to their parents at the hip. They are always around, under your feet when trying to walk or next to your desk when working; no matter what it is they are always there. Dogs have this idea in their brains now that their owners have been home for so long that they are not going to leave them again, which is going to be a real eye opener for the pets when school is back in session and parents are back at work.

This pandemic may have caused separation anxiety in dogs and other pets. “My dog is very attached to my mom and sister. I’m his third favorite. If my mom and sister aren’t home he’ll stick with me but still look for them. When I leave him with my brother he gets very upset,” senior Sean Kim said.

Separation anxiety in pets is temporary and can be treated. According to pets.webmd.com, when leaving the house the pet owner should not make a big deal and drag the process on. Also it states that when gone the owners should leave clothes that smell like them to keep the pet feeling safe, and give the pet a treat every time you leave the house.

I have an older dog named Noah (11 y/o) and he definitely got more attached living through quarantine with all of us being home all the time.”

— Lizzie Nelson

Getting a dog during a pandemic can be tough. With the owners being home all the time, you would think it would be easier to train the dog, but it can cause separation anxiety in the dog from the start. However, having two dogs in a house can make the change to normal life easier on dogs. “I have an older dog named Noah (11 y/o) and he definitely got more attached living through quarantine with all of us being home all the time. He got super lonely when my parents started going back to work so we just got a little puppy named Cooper (12 weeks) to keep him company. They’re the same breed (Yellow Labs) and best friends,” junior Lizzie Nelson said.