New Bedford Pet Owners: COVID-19 Anxiety and Behavior Issues

covid-19 anxiety in petsMany households have seen significant changes in the amount of time that they are spending at home during the Coronavirus pandemic. With schools being closed, many businesses shuttered, and travel plans put on hold, local pets are also getting to spend more time with their families. However, this is not necessarily a positive for many pets. Some are unnerved by the change in schedule and might be wondering why they aren’t getting eight hours of undisturbed quiet in the middle of the day. Still, other pets might love the increased attention and togetherness so much that it will be hard for them when everything goes back to normal.

Veterinary care in Massachusetts should address every issue that concerns New Bedford pet owners and their pets – not just required vaccines and preventive treatments. Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth provides quality vet care for cats and dogs to ensure their all-around health and well-being. If you suspect that your pet is having difficulty with COVID-19 changes, contact one of our team members for a consultation to determine a course of action. Telemedicine, hospital appointments, surgeries, and limited wellness exams are available at our Dartmouth location to best serve the needs of our clients and their pets. Browse the COVID-19 information on our website for details about the ways that we are changing our approach to deliver quality vet care for all.

Dealing With Pet Stress

While it might sound like something that can easily be overcome with more attention or training, pet stress is a real issue for many animals, especially at this time. You have probably seen many parents talking about how their kids are acting out, getting in more trouble, whining and complaining, or are behaving like animals as the time spent out of school stretches on and on. Pets are in a similar situation. Instead of weekend trips to the dog park, daily walks around the block, and long lengths of time while the humans are at work and school, everyone is together all the time every single day. It can be a bit overwhelming for people, so you can imagine how challenging it is for pets who can’t understand what’s going on that would change their daily lives so much.

Some pets might be thrilled at the idea of more time with their families and will spend days hanging out on the couch, in the kitchen, taking naps, and watching all the new things the humans are doing. Other pets might be exhibiting signs of stress, such as getting into the trash, trying to escape out the back door, begging for food at all hours of the day, or even fighting with other pets in the house. Pets look to humans to relieve their anxiety, but if their needs are not being met, they can become overly needy or act out in negative ways. Instead of yelling at a cat or dog that is acting “out of sorts,” try changing the way that you behave to accommodate their needs more effectively.

Symptoms of Stressed-Out Pets

Cats and dogs will often express themselves quite differently, but there are some similarities. Pets will often express stress by changes in behavior, such as being more vocal. Dogs barking at all of the new people walking around the neighborhood during the week or barking at the mailman – something you might not have noticed since you were at work – can be frustrating, especially if you are working from home. Cats might start meowing at all hours of the day and night to express their frustration. Another symptom has to do with bathroom behaviors. Urinating outside the litter box, defecating on your briefcase, couching up a hairball on your keyboard – these are all signs that your pet is stressed.

Hiding pets are also common when the environment changes as drastically as it has in recent weeks. Even if only one or two members of your household have changed their activity level within the home, it could be impacting your pet. Instead of becoming angry, try to understand that your pet is not doing these things to be nasty or “get even” with you about something. Pet’s just don’t think that way. Similar to very young human children, pets act out in a way that makes sense as they try to communicate how they are feeling. Whether they are worried about the change, require more attention, need more daily activity and stimulation, or require something more, will vary from pet to pet and situation to situation.

When to Call the Vet

New Bedford pet owners should contact their local animal hospital in Dartmouth whenever they feel the need to get vet care for cats and dogs. Use your instincts and rely on them to let you know when veterinary care in Massachusetts is a necessity. Contact our team, discuss your concerns, and take the steps required to make a positive change in your pet’s life. If your pet’s behavior puts them, other pets, or humans in danger, such as nipping, biting, or trying to escape outdoors, contact your veterinarian at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth right away. There are prescriptions that can be provided that will help calm pets, so they do not hurt themselves or others, as well as recommendations for training and support that you can use to get through this period in their lives. Contact our team by calling 508-996-3731 with any questions or to schedule a consultation with one of our veterinary staff. Since 1975, we have provided quality veterinary care to pet owners throughout the South Coast region. You can expect professional and personalized care using the latest techniques and technology for the best options available in modern veterinary services.