Stress During COVID-19 can Impact Your Dog

Stress During COVID-19 can Impact Your Dog

Your dog is your kindred spirit and your best friend. When you start to feel anxious, your canine can sense your emotional upheaval and starts to feel stressed too. It is like a domino effect between the two of you and stress during COVID-19 can impact your dog in incredibly significant ways. 


Your Dog and Covid-19 Anxiety


You might be surprised to learn that your cheerful furry buddy is very anxious. A recent study looked at 14,000 dogs and found that about 72;5 percent showed some sort of anxious behavior such as barking or some level of aggressiveness.


Stress is Contagious 


A 2019 research study found that when an owner’s level of cortisol increased as a reaction to stress that their canine companion’s levels also spiked. Fido seems to mirror your feelings of stress due to the deep bond that you share. 


Closeness and Emotional Support


Even though you feel anxious and stressed, the time you spend with your dog is also welcome. Your canine companion can offer emotional support and help alleviate feelings of isolation that start to build during self-quarantine. A dog can help get you through challenging emotional and mental times. 


Canine Confinement 


You probably have not been visiting the dog parks or even going for walks the way you used to with your dog prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. You might be wondering how your pooch feels about confinement. Yes, your dog probably misses a good run or long walk but if you usually left home for work every day prior to the pandemic then your furry friend is probably overjoyed to be spending even more time by your side as you shelter in place and work remotely.


Dogs are very social creatures. Their wild relatives live in large packs so sharing time together is a normal state. Caroline Gilbert, at the French National Veterinary School in Alfort states in an interview with Understanding Animal Research, “The confinement actually corresponds to their need for social interactions. Working and leaving your dog alone for several hours is not good, some dogs who cannot stand being alone. Dogs are just happy that they have their owners at home. It’s very interesting and engaging for them to have their owners to play, cuddle and socialize with them all day.”


Stress After COVID-19


Eventually, as lockdowns are lift and the virus eases its hold on different areas of the world then life will return to some semblance of normal. Many people will head back to work and school. However, your dog might experience a great deal of stress after COVID-19 because the animal has adapted to having you at home every day. 


Being alone again might cause your pooch to develop separation anxiety which leads to chronic barking, destructive behavior, and housebreaking problems. Basically, after having you all day at home, your dog is going to feel stressed and lonely when you are not there every day. Being alone is challenging for animals. 


As you can see, stress during COVID-19 can impact your dog in a multitude of ways so you will need to stay tuned in to the animal’s so you can offer help when needed. Together, you can both get through the trying times. 

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1 comment

This is an excellent review of how covid isolation has affected our dogs. My dog, Henry is a social butterfly. He certainly has missed his people and play friends. I’m hoping at some point to get him his own playmate since there’s no telling what the future holds with pandemics. Really good article!

I’m sharing with my dog friends. 😊💖🐶


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