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Will pets have separation anxiety when we go back to work?

Will pets get separation anxiety as their owners return to work?
Veterinarian Scott Bainbridge answers some of your pet-related questions, including how pets will feel once their owners start returning to work.

For anyone who has a pet, the novel coronavirus pandemic has meant spending more time with your furry friend.

Whether this means working from home or spending more nights in, our pets in return are also used to seeing more of us. But what happens as provinces start to reopen and some people are told to go back to work? Or when your weekend outings don’t just include the grocery store?

READ MORE: Should you adopt a pet during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Veterinarian Scott Bainbridge recently joined Global News’ The Morning Show to talk about pet separation anxiety and other common pet questions people have during the pandemic.

“It’s going to be a concern, especially for dogs,” he told hosts. “As things start to reopen, people are going to start going back to work … their schedules will change.”

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Bainbridge says pets do notice how much time we spend with them and to help alleviate some of this anxiety, he recommends giving your pet more independent time. This means if you’re a dog owner, try going for walks without the dog.

READ MORE: Mink believed to have infected farmworker with COVID-19 — can pets do the same?

He says cats may not feel the same. In his experience, some cats prefer to be alone in their space.

Ask an Expert: COVID-19 and pets
Ask an Expert: COVID-19 and pets

Since the pandemic started, there have been several questions around COVID-19 infecting pets.

So far, some animals have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus, including dogs, ferrets, cats and several lions and tigers in a New York City zoo.

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Previously speaking with Global News, Scott Weese, a veterinary internal medicine specialist and professor at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College, said cats, for example, may be more susceptible to catching the virus than other species.

READ MORE: Canadians must include pets in coronavirus emergency plans, advocates say

“We know that cats can spread it cat-to-cat, so if a cat can spread it cat-to-cat, it seems logical that there could be a risk of cat-to-human,” he said.

The risk of catching the coronavirus from your cat, however, is still low, he said.

He added that dogs have been more resistant.

To learn more about common pet questions during the pandemic, watch the full video above. 

— with files from Laura Hensley

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.