Pets often mimic their owners' behaviors. If you've been eating more and exercising less through this pandemic, your pet has probably been doing the same. Vets have seen a rise in feline and canine obesity over the last year, and when people stress-eat, their pets do too. "We are seeing reports of more and more veterinarians saying, 'Look, we're seeing more weight gain this year than we saw in the prior year,'" he told CNN. "(The pandemic) is the perfect storm."
When we're home all day and snacking from the couch, we start to take on some unhealthy behaviors that our pets pick up on. One pet owner described how her dog's routine changed with the pandemic. "During Covid, his long walks definitely became shorter," she said. "Wanting to limit exposure with other people on the street was one thing — but also, they just weren't enjoyable anymore. Being around so many people, having to wear a mask ... it's just a different experience."
But with warmer weather and the promise of vaccines, many people are trying to get their pets back into a healthy routine. "Now that spring is coming, I plan to lengthen his walks again," she said. "I just got a new job, so I'm trying to get him on an eating schedule for when I leave the house ... now that I'm not home as much, he'll definitely be laying off the popcorn."