How Lockdown and Re-Opening is Affecting Our Pets

How Lockdown and Re-Opening is Affecting Our Pets

As the coronavirus pandemic started to sweep across the globe, many people took animal companions into our homes. Some pets were fosters, others into their new forever homes. However, life under lockdown is weird, unnatural and strange to say the least- both humans and pets alike.

The dogs and cats already in our lives suddenly had to adjust to the concept of us being around nearly all the time. The animals entering into a new relationship with a human got to know this person in a way that’s not reflective of life is going to be moving forward. While we evalaute and strive to maintain our own physical, mental and psychological well-being, we need to think of our furry friends at the same time.

Around Memorial Day weekend, it became apparent that people, en masse, were violating stay-at-home orders. You saw the footage of people out enjoying the outdoors in large groups as the weather began to turn warm. The time away might actually be good for our cats and dogs. OurFitPets is a good resource for explaining pet behavior and the motivations behind their actions. The BBC has this fantastic video of a pet behaviorist explaining how animals will react to our eventual return to work (whenever that may be) and how promoting some distance right now in the home can end up being beneficial in the long run.


Shortly after Memorial Day weekend, the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin set off a wave of protests and demonstrations that this country has not seen, arguably, since 1968. Pent up inside for so long, with nothing really open and all major entertainment events completely wiped clean from the calendar for the foreseeable future, people needed somewhere to go, something to do and a purpose to keep their minds occupied.

The higher the unemployment numbers get every week, the more people we’ll see in the streets. And most of the time, they are not taking their pets with them.

This is good for the animals though. They need to get used to the idea of us not always being there. Eventually, we’ll all be leaving the house more and that’s a reality our pets need to be eased back into. It’s great that people are getting out and demonstrating, it conveys how strong the desire for change truly is.


It’s also wonderful to see more business, albeit slowly, open up again. We’ve all grown weary of our same four walls all the time. And our pets will benefit from a little social distancing from us once in awhile too.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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