Pets and Post COVID-19 Concerns

Jun 8, 2020   Tracey Aston   Health & Wellness

The world has changed. No one is arguing that. Words like pandemic, social isolation and CDC guidelines have become normal everyday topics now. We all have to make changes and get used to new ways of life, which includes our pets and Professional Pet Care Specialists.

A lot of families are concerned about their pet suffering from separation anxiety once they go back to work. If your pet has never shown signs of separation anxiety in the past, they may not experience it now. Pets thrive on routine. If you think your pet is suffering from separation anxiety or is showing signs they didn't before the pandemic, it may simply be your pet getting back into a routine and that takes time.

To help your pet get used to you not being around all the time, start preparing them by leaving for short intervals, several times a day, whether to go grocery shopping or run an errand.  If your pet had a Professional Pet Care Specialist before the quarantine, start taking your pet for a walk or go on a brief potty break around the time your Professional Pet Care Specialists would normally show up to get them used to that routine again.

Masks and gloves have become an everyday part of our lives but they can create a dangerous situation for strangers and Professional Pet Care Specialists if a pet hasn't been properly socialized with them. Our pets pick up a lot from body language and facial expressions and masks cover a large part of our faces.  In addition to covering our faces, masks inhibit our scent and pets live by their noses. Both covering the face and muffling the scent can cause a pet to be confused, anxious and possibly aggressive.  Gloves smell different than a human hand, and have a different texture.  Stroking a pet with gloves on can also cause static which while it doesn't hurt the pet, can be a confusing sensation they don't equate with petting. For cats who don't go out on a walk, the pet sitter must use the mask the entire visit and the anxiety and fear may continue to heighten in the cat leading to abnormal behavior or bites.

Everyone entering your home should be using hand sanitizers to keep everyone safe. Keep in mind, the chemicals used in hand sanitizers are poisonous for our pets. This can affect a pet if they are licking someone's hands who has just used hand sanitizer. We recommend using gloves to help protect the pets from hand sanitizers and possible poisoning. Professional Pet Care Specialists should be changing gloves after each visit per CDC guideline.

You can help your pet now by slowly getting them used to masks and gloves. Allow them to sniff your mask, put it on briefly and sit around the house as your normally would. When a pet is interacting with the mask, it's imperative you create a positive association by offering praise and treats.  If you need more help on getting your pet socialized to new objects and things, our article on socialization can help.

This is a new world for our all, helping your pet now can set them up for success and keep those who will be interacting with your pet safe. If your pet is showing signs of aggression to masks or gloves and you are having problems, reach out to a professional trainer or behaviorist in your area. 

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