Agriculture Ministry: Prepare your dogs for life after coronavirus

As many Israelis adopted pets, during the coronavirus outbreak, the ministry suggested they not let their new companions think that life will be the same after lockdown.

A puppy is shown looking up. Studies have shown that oxytocin levels spike when humans and their dogs gaze into each others' eyes (photo credit: Courtesy)
A puppy is shown looking up. Studies have shown that oxytocin levels spike when humans and their dogs gaze into each others' eyes
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Dogs are often said to be man’s best friend, and the recent coronavirus outbreak led to a wave of adoptions as people looked for companionship during the lockdown and a way to take daily walks.  
However, dogs usually get emotionally attached to their owners, who have been spending nearly every minute of every day at home due to the lockdown. Preparing for life after coronavirus, the Agriculture Ministry released guidelines on Tuesday, warning the public that dogs may not understand that at some point their beloved humans will not be around them all day and will not understand their absence.  
Dogs are able to experience stress and anxiety when their owners, from their point of view, vanish and they don’t know when they will return. This is true for dogs that were adopted before the outbreak began as well, as some dogs are more anxious than others. 
The ministry suggested that owners begin to take short walks outside the house, without the dog, and to verbally say farewell to the dog using similar expressions they would use when they go to work.  
Such short absences, it is hoped, will make it easier for the pets to understand their humans are not going to vanish but will return at some point.  
While the press release did not discuss cats, it is likely that the same method will be beneficial for them as well.