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The new normal: Why your pet has been acting up

May 20, 2020

If the faces around you have become way too familiar over the past few months of “sheltering in place,” have some empathy for your pets.

“Animals do really like to have routines,” says Jamie Richardson, DVM, chief of staff for Small Door Veterinary in New York City. “With this change, with our day-to-day anxieties, all that translates down to our pets.”

That’s why your dog or cat may be behaving unusually, such as barking or meowing more often than normal, over-grooming, or urinating in inappropriate places (known as displacement behaviors or displacement activities), she recently told Better Homes & Gardens.

So, what can you do when your dog begins eating couch cushions, or your cat is tearing up the carpet? “Try to keep them as much on a normal schedule as possible,” Richardson says. That means feed them when you usually do, go on daily walks like normal, but try not to add in anything out of the norm

. “I tell people that they need to spend time away from their pets,” Richardson adds. “Don’t make every walk about going out with your dog. Make sure you leave the house sometimes without your pet.”

If you’re working from home, try designating work times where you’re completely separated from your animal. “My husband actually shuts himself in the office and doesn’t let the pets in there, so it’s almost like he has left for work,” Richardson says. (She owns a Labrador named Ralph and a Chihuahua named Freddie). “So at 6 p.m., he just opens the door. They get excited like he just came home from work.

“And, although a schedule is important, try to vary your routine each day,” she recommends to Better Homes & Gardens. “For example, if your pet has separation anxiety, consider showering at a different time so they don’t know when you’ll be gone and “go crazy,” Richardson says.

Additionally, be sure to give your pet as much love and attention as possible. “Set aside time each day specifically for your pet, whether it’s physical or mental exercise,” Richardson says. This could be anything, including playing with them in your house or backyard or even teaching them a new trick.”

Richardson told the magazine that she also likes toys that double as brain games. For pups, she recommends a puzzle bowl, ($8.60, Cats, on the other hand, love Doc. & Phoebe’s Cat Co.’s indoor hunting feeder (19.99,, she says.

Of course, it’s also important to take care of yourself. “Try to look after your own mental health, too,” Richardson adds. “Dogs and cats have intuitive behavior. They know when we are stressed. They know when we are upset. They know something is wrong. That can cause them anxiety, too.”

Research contact: @BHG

It’s #Team Fluff vs. #Team Ruff in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XV on February 3

January 16, 2019

If tail-wagging were a competition, all 93 puppies chosen for the Pedigree starting lineup in the 15th Annual Puppy Bowl would take the top prize—a “Lombarky” trophy from

Prepare to fall in “puppy love” as the baby bow-wows—sourced from animal shelters throughout the United States and Costa Rica—take to the gridiron for two hours of tumbling and fumbling at Geico Stadium in Steubenville, Ohio, starting at 3 p.m. (ET) on February 3 on the Animal Planet in your area.

Even if they don’t “go big,” they are almost sure to “go home”—because the Puppy Bowl also serves as an adoption event. Indeed, fully 100% of the puppies that have run riot in previous years have been embraced and taken in by forever families.

This year, Animal Planet worked with over 50 dedicated animal shelters and rescue organizations from over 20 states and territories in the U.S. and made an international stop to Costa Rica, to get these puppies set for the big game.

With a bigger game in store for viewers later in the evening—Super Bowl LIII—audiences will be sure to find their favorite elements returning to the fluffiest game of the year; including a front row seat to the pregame rituals of these special pups via the locker room camera.

Viewers also will get an “pup-close and personal” look at the game through the famous water bowl cam, the fan favorite kiss cam, aerial shots of the field from the Temptations Sky Box, and a look at the touchdowns through the Sprint cameras in the end zones.

What’s more, this year, the audience will find out what these adorable puppies are really made of, with a Wisdom Panel Canine DNA Test. What genetic traits are giving them those advantages on the field? The organizers tested them all to find out!

The game will feature “aww-nalysis” from sports correspondents, including the infamous Rodt Weiler with James Hound and Sheena Inu serving as pre-game show analysts. “Rufferee” Dan Schachner returns for the eighth year in a row to call the puppy penalties, furry fumbles,and terrier touchdowns

The first half of the event will be sponsored by STXfilms’ Ugly Dolls, with the second half sponsored by Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 from Universal Pictures.

Midway through the exciting game, get ready for a purr-fect surprise during the Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Kitty Half-Time Show

All of the pups also will compete for the individual Bissell MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) by scoring the most touchdowns.

And finally, don’t forget to check out the spectacular group of baby kangaroo cheerleaders who root for their favorite team from the sidelines!

Research contact: @puppybowl19