Pets look for owners as they return to work

Pets are feeling neglected after lockdown ends as their owners are leaving for work and school.


Kirby Aquino and her dog Joon. Aqunio has been helping many people with doggy behavioral problems.

“He could barely walk on his own in public,” said Kirby Aquino, a Dog Trainer at Sit Means Sit Dog Training.

 A family had bought a cockapoo during the beginning of the pandemic.  What they failed to realize was that the entire family would be snuggling and holding this cute puppy 24/7 and giving him no room to learn how to be alone. 

As hard as this pandemic is for humans, pets are also struggling. Their lives have been flipped upside down and everything is changing for them. This can affect their behavior, lifestyle and overall attitude. 

Once things began to open up after the pandemic, the puppy was petrified of everything other than his home and family. He had to be dragged by his leash just to go on a walk. He was never alone so once his family went back to school and work he was petrified of being alone. 

Aquino and her coworker’s had to work hard to train this puppy and teach him that it is okay to be alone, and he shouldn’t be so afraid of everything. They also had to help the owners understand that coddling their puppy every waking hour was doing more harm than good. They told the owners about the pros of crate training, proper socialization with unfamiliar people and places, training classes and setting respectable boundaries with puppies.

Dog adoptions skyrocketed in 2019-2020, they increased 30%- 40%. By the end of 2020 around 3385 pets found new homes according to The Washington Post. Now that these owners are going back to school and work these dogs are going to have to adapt to not being the center of attention 27/4. They will be home alone more often than usual, which will be a big adjustment for them.

Science teacher Dori Hess, has multiple house pets along with several classroom pets. Her house pets are two cats, one dog and some snails. She has her hands full with pets to care for and help during this pandemic.

Bear, her dog, has had to deal with this pandemic along with all of us. Her pets went through her going to work all day everyday to her being home during lockdown 24/7. They actually loved the extra human time they were receiving and they were being super spoiled. 

She took Bear on way more walks to explore the woods than she could before lockdown. The indoor cats got to enjoy the outdoors in their tents which they love doing. Keeping their schedules as routine and normal as possible was the key, said Hess. They were rewarded with new toys, home cooked meals and treats. 

Once the lockdown was lifted and Hess went back to teaching, her pets began acting out a bit. They had gotten so used to her being home all day that they had forgotten what it was like for her to leave for work and be gone all day. “​​Patience, time and trying to keep their schedules as normal as possible, not to mention a surprise homemade meal or treat or even a new toy every once in a while,” said Hess when describing how she best helps her pets adjust to this major change in their lifestyle.   

Patience was very important with this, this pandemic has been hard on us but at least we understand what’s going on. These poor pets have no clue why these sudden changes keep happening in their lives.

Crate training, proper socialization with different people they aren’t super familiar with, training classes, and setting respectful boundaries with your puppy leads to a happy, confident and well behaved adult dog,” said Aquino. As a pet owner you need to make sure that their dog understands that it’s okay to meet new people and explore new places. Make sure they have proper alone time and aren’t scared to be alone. Crate training is good for alone time as long and they have a big enough crate in a healthy environment.