Managing your pet's behavior during and after quarantine

Posted at 11:56 AM, Apr 27, 2020

Pet owners may notice their animals behaving a little differently during the pandemic.

They might notice things like more anxiety triggers, like deliveries coming to your front door. Behavioral experts recommend trying to associate those triggers with something positive, like treats or praise.

Cats and dogs also need more sleep than humans. Without time to rest, they could become more irritable. That could mean kids and pets not getting along as much. Supervised training exercises may help with that.

"Because that gets the kids focused on doing something constructive with the pets, and it gets the pets focused on okay, interacting with the child is a good thing,” said Pamela Reid, Vice President of ASPCA’s Behavioral Sciences Team. “Plus, they're learning manners and they're learning to control themselves."

Reid says for the most part, pets are probably happy to have more attention and company, but those pets could struggle with switching back.

"I think it's really important that if people know that in two weeks, they're going to be going back to work, to start to institute some sort of regular routine now, and get the animal used to that," said Reid.

If you've only been leaving the house to go on walks with the dog, try going for a walk without them.

Think of giving a special treat or toy to your pet when they are alone, so they have something to look forward to. It's also good to give your pet exercise before you leave.