Cabin fever is at an all-time high with the nation being under several stay-at-home orders due to Covid-19. Cohabitating with our loved ones and furry friends provides many benefits but being in close quarters for extended periods of time can be difficult—for humans and their animals. However, there are many challenges pets may face during these times. Owners must do their best to structure their pets through somewhat of a general routine.
Keep in mind that pets take their anxiety out the same way that we do, which is on the people or pets around us. Just as humans have found the disruption of daily life to be stressful and upsetting, pets have also picked up on the change. It is important to provide pets with a strong routine to minimize their stress and reduce the risk of inter-pet aggression. One excellent outlet that can benefit both pet and owner is exercise. It tells the dog that you are the leader and there is nothing to be worried about.
If pets begin to behave aggressively toward each other, we recommend watching for raised hackles (the hair along the dog’s backbone standing up), mounting behavior, having their ears perked straight up, and other dominant-type behaviors. Confrontation can be prevented by separating the animals, by using a basket muzzle, or by removing factors that spark conflict. If pet owners have any concerns about their animal’s behavior, they should strongly consider reaching out to a board-certified veterinary behaviorist. These specialists have a unique set of skills that help them identify problem triggers and develop solutions for the whole household.