Vet Warns How Current Events Could Negatively Impact Your Pet’s Mental Health
As a human, we know how stressful it can be during these unprecedented times. We might be facing some mental health concerns as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and it seems as if pets may be affected as well, according to one expert.
Dr. Chad Dodd is a veterinarian who says that pets may pick up on their owner’s anxiety as the global shutdown continues, according to a report by British news agency SWNS.
“Pets pick up subliminal messages and they are going to pick up on anxiety and stress,” Dodd said. “Anytime when there are changes in our daily routine, it’s going to disrupt our pets.”
Dodd is based in St. Petersburg, Florida and said that pets tend to “live in the moment.” Since their owners are home more often, they may bond with them on a very deep level but he feels it is important that our pets do not become an afterthought.
“But with mom and dad trying to work from home, let’s make sure that the pet doesn’t get overlooked,” Dodd explained. “Pets are going to be adjusting to the ‘new normal’ too.”
Overfeeding may also be a problem as we are home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dodd says that this could be detrimental to the health of our pets.
“Some owners have indulged their pets with toys that involve food like puzzle feeders,” he continued. “One of my concerns is that you might end up overfeeding your pet in these times.”
It isn’t all bad news. There are many benefits to spending time with your pets face-to-face.
“Studies show that pets can lower blood pressure in their owners,” Dodd said. “Pets can be great comforters – they can actually improve their owners’ health and decrease their stress levels. We definitely encourage people, if they are healthy, to cuddle their pets.”
Pets are more than someone who can help us during this crisis. They may actually help to flatten the curve. Some dogs in the UK are being trained to sniff out those who may be infected with the coronavirus.
We are heading toward 2 million cases worldwide and the number continues to grow. This includes over 500,000 in the United States, the country that has been impacted the greatest.