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Everyone’s lives have been upended because of the global pandemic. Many are spending more time at home, whether it’s due to remote work or caring for kids doing virtual learning. Outside the home, social distancing and masks are the norm in many areas. Most families know at least one person lost to the disease, but humans are far from the only ones impacted by all of this.

Pets are facing a new reality because of the pandemic. Many of them are having to adjust to new routines.

A generation of pandemic pets started their early lives in homes during the peak of lockdowns at the start of the pandemic. Then, their human masters and owners were home quite a bit, and these animals got plenty of attention and time. In fact, they got most of the attention that many people had to give.

Now that lockdowns are lifted in many areas and life is returning somewhat to normal, albeit with adjustments, people are getting back into routines outside their homes. This is leaving pandemic pets adjusting to how life normally is for pets.

While human people are struggling to adapt to life in a pandemic-stricken society trying to save lives and keep economic activity afloat, pandemic pets that were once getting attention nearly all day long are facing long periods without any people in the home. This can create separation anxiety and feelings of worry about abandonment.

It is impacting the health and wellness of millions of pets. While training and coping mechanisms can mitigate this to some degree, it’s still a very prevalent issue.

The number of pets impacted by this can not be understated. It’s estimated that as many as one in five homes adopted a pet during the height of the early pandemic in order to find a source of comfort and companionship. Now, those pets are alone at home for most of the day while parents go back to the office or kids are back in school.

These pets are usually still quite happy when people get home for dinner, but their excitement to see people again might not be purely unconditional love but just happiness that they are no longer alone as they were not raised to be.