Spending more time at home may not be what's best for your pet

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are spending more time at home, including working from home. And while spending time at home means lots of quality time with your pets, that might not always be a good thing.

A local veterinarian said he is seeing increased stress in some of his furry clients, as one of the main reasons for pet anxiety is people anxiety.

“In general, all of us are a little bit stressed out, so send out as much positivity as possible not just for everyone around but the furballs and knuckle heads running around; keep being positive for them too,” said Dr. Eric Ruhland, veterinarian at St. Paul Pet Hospital.

Dr. Ruhland said pets pick up on nonverbal cues from their owners.

“Their social structure has changed quite a bit,” he said. “They are getting walked more, and their owners are around more so they are needing to put up with that.”

He also said humans are potentially interrupting their pets’ routines, particularly when it comes to sleeping.

“Imagine if you took a 4 or 5 hour nap - especially felines who sleep hours their owners are around - and keeping them up. That will change, as well.”

Consult your veterinarian if your pet can’t sleep at night or if they are demonstrating anxious behavior, such as destroying things that they ordinarily don’t.

Dr. Ruhland is also concerned that some pets will have separation anxiety when things return to normal. To prevent that, give your pet some separation time during the day when you're working at home.