Billings vet offers tips to keep pets happy during shutdown

Posted at 6:36 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 18:52:03-04

During Montana's stay-at-home order, your pets may be enjoying and getting used to all the extra attention.

Billings veterinarian Edie Best says that dogs and cats can have separation anxiety, which could be triggered when their owners are able to get back to work and the extra attention lessens.

“Typical anxiety symptoms can be destructive behavior so, trying to claw out or scratch their way out of a crate on kennel, destroying things, chewing on things. It could also be digging in the yard or digging holes in general,” says Best.

Gov. Steve Bullock announced his stay-at-home order in late March and it's scheduled to end April 24, although it could be extended. The order closes many businesses deemed nonessential, including bars, dine-in restaurants, gym and other service businesses.

Best reminds the community that for most pets, this will not be an issue at all, and they may be happy when you go back to work.

“I think for dogs that are prone to anxiety, it probably will be a problem. I think for most dogs that are used to their routine…I think it will just be a normal day for them,” says Best.

Best says that some helpful ways to put your pets at ease when your away are to use calming diffusers like lavender or specific dog and cat calming formulas. Leave treats around the house for pets to find and play soothing music when you are away to help pets stay happy and entertained.

Veterinarians say that if you notice any of these symptoms mentioned above, call your veterinarian.