The coronavirus pandemic isn’t just affecting the mental health of humans — it could negatively impact pets as well, according to one expert.
According to experts, we may not be the only ones who are feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our mental health. In fact, our pets can also be feeling the negative effects of a global pandemic. So, while it may be a struggle for some of us to deal with, let’s try not to forget about our pets as well.
According to Dr. Chad Dodd, as our mental health might start to struggle with the global pandemic’s disruption of our daily lives, our pets might begin to take on and internalize our personal anxiety and stress as reports the British news agency SWNS.
As Dr. Dodd explains, “Pets pick up subliminal messages and they are going to pick up on anxiety and stress. Anytime when there are changes in our daily routine, it’s going to disrupt our pets.”
Dr. Dodd, who practices in St Petersburg, Florida, has also noted that our “pets live in the moment,” so with their owners home more, they will be more closely bonded to their humans, therefore able to read us better. However, the vet does warn that in no way, should their mental health be neglected or forgotten about.
Dr. Dodd said, “But with mom and dad trying to work from home, let’s make sure that the pet doesn’t get overlooked. Pets are going to be adjusting to the ‘new normal’ too.”
Another caution from Dr. Dodd pertained to a pet’s physical health, as with more stay-at-home orders in place, there comes a tendency to overfeed your pets when you’re at home for extended periods. Of course, this can have negative effects on their health.
He continued, “Some owners have indulged their pets with toys that involve food like puzzle feeders. One of my concerns is that you might end up overfeeding your pet in these times.”
Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. There is actually a huge benefit to having pets at home with you during times of crisis.
As Dr. Dodd explained, “Studies show that pets can lower blood pressure in their owners. 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.”
While dogs are great comforts in times of crisis, we need to remember that they have feelings too so we can’t forget to comfort them as well. Besides being able to provide us with loads of love, cuddles, and comfort, in the UK, dogs are also being trained to see if they’re able to sniff out COVID-19 amongst patients.
We truly don’t deserve our dogs.