By now we all know the impact Covid-19 has had on us as people, our mental and physical health. But there is a section of society that seems to have been left out of the discussions – and that’s pets. Even though Covid-19 in animals is extremely rare, there have still been a number of big changes and adjustments to the lives of our beloved family pets. So today we want to ask you, have you noticed any of these things?
One of the things we have seen a lot of over the pandemic is separation anxiety. Specifically, anxiety from dogs when their owners leave them alone. Dogs are very social and routine-driven animals and the change in routine during working from home and flexible working has caused a lot of upheaval in their world. Separation anxiety in dogs is very similar to the way humans (particularly young children) experience it, and it’s simply the anxiety provoked by the separation from a caregiver. This period of long and constant change we’re going through can be challenging for dogs, who have no idea what’s going on.
Signs of separation anxiety in dogs:
- Unpredictable and destructive behaviour.
- Becoming upset, angry or fearful in situations that don’t warrant it.
- Peeing all over the place.
- Chewing or shredding your belongings.
- Scratching the door.
- Hyperactive behaviour that is difficult to calm down.
Separation anxiety in dogs can be managed and will get better with time, but it does mean investing some effort into working with your dog and helping them adjust to normal life again. At Animals at Home, we can help their separation anxiety by giving them the company they require but independence from you. We offer home visits and pet sitting so your pet will have their utmost comfort in their own home.
More Quality Time
Covid-19 has had one big upside – people are spending more time than ever with their pets. This was particularly noticeable in the various lockdowns when were home all day, but even now restrictions are lifting the habit is sticking, and spending quality time with pets is now becoming a priority for more and more owners. This means happier pets and happier people, and as long as they still have their normal routine, pets can never have too much quality time. We have a separate blog If you still need some tips on easing your dog out of lockdown life.
Rise in Obesity
Since so many people were at home all day due to isolation, work from home orders or just to be safe, vets also noticed an increase in the average weight of household pets. Begging meows and sad puppy dog eyes have led to a lot of people sharing table scraps with their pets. While this looks harmless on the surface, it can have a real impact on their weight and their health in general, since many foods we eat aren’t safe for animals to consume. At Animals at Home, we offer dog walking services which is a great way of helping your dog drop that extra weight whilst you get back to work!
The Adoption Surge
One of the things that isn’t talked about as much is the impact on the pet industry as a whole, and pets as a result. At the start of the pandemic when the first lockdowns were introduced, many people bought or adopted dogs as a form of company during the isolating times. It’s estimated that around 3.2 million pets were either adopted or bought in lockdown, known as ‘pandemic pets’. This was amazing news for shelters and rescues, as it meant lots of pets getting new, loving homes. Adoption was a particularly popular option, as people had more time to work with challenging animals on their behaviours, or help them adjust to their new family.
Have you noticed any changes in your pet’s behaviour, or yours, over the last 2 years? And if you’re struggling to adjust to the changes now that restrictions are easing, we have a number of services and blogs that can help you, contact us today.