Quarantine may throw your pet out of whack, expert says

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Many people forced to stay at home during the coronavirus crisis have noticed a change in their pet's behavior, but according to a pet expert, it may be your new routine that is throwing them out of whack.

"It’s a little bit of a different environment in our households," said Nicole Ellis, a dog training expert for Rover.com, which offers a network of available pet services.

She said many pets are confused by family members spending all their time at home lately. Many dogs become hyperactive and become vocal because you are there. That makes it difficult at times for those trying to work from home.

"Give him things that will mentally stimulate him and physically stimulate him," Ellis recommended. "It’s not just about that walk. We want to make them mentally tired so when it comes time when you need to work and you need to concentrate your dog can relax and sleep he’s not thinking you are there to play with him and keep him company."

Some older dogs react differently and shy away from you because they are not up for additional walks.

Ellis says one way to keep your dog mentally stimulated is to give them a food toy with frozen peanut butter and dog food inside. He’ll spend time figuring ways to get the treats out of there.

"There are so many things we can provide our pets so they are set up for success and we are not getting frustrated with them," she said.

And when you eventually return to the office, Ellis says it’s important to help your pet readjust, so they won’t suffer from separation anxiety and potentially tear up your home. Perhaps hire a dog walker or enroll them in a doggie day care during the transition.