How are our pets during the pandemic?

A dog gets checked by a vet.
A dog is inspected by a vet before being put up for adoption at the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, Minn.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2020

More than half of Minnesotans have a pet, and that percentage likely went up during the last year as people hunkered down at home decided it was time to bring a puppy or cat into their lives. 

The number of animal adoptions spiked at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and has stayed relatively high compared to previous years, according to adoption agencies across the country. 

Pets have clearly been good for humans during the pandemic, offering companionship and comfort. But how are the pets doing through all of this? Changes in routines are stressful for animals and all the close contact with humans means some pets experience separation anxiety when people head back to school or work. 

A recent survey showed that nearly three-quarters of people who got a dog in the past year have considered re-homing them when the pandemic ends, partially due to lack of knowledge of what it takes to care for their pets.

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What can we do to keep our pets happy and healthy? What routine care should new pet owners know about? How can you exercise a pet in cold Minnesota winters? 

Host Angela Davis talks with a veterinarian and takes listener questions about how to take care of the animals in our lives.

  • Justine Lee is a veterinarian specializing in emergency medicine, critical care and toxicology. She practices at Animal Emergency and Referral Center of Minnesota in Oakdale.

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