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New data shows pet anxiety increased during the pandemic

Behavior specialists say if you have an anxious pet seek professional help.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A local dog trainer says during the pandemic they started to notice a sharp increase in anxious and problematic behavior in dogs.

Jen Gavin, the owner of 'A Pleasant Dog' in Grand Rapids started tracking this behavior in clients.

Gavin says the data shows that the number of both puppies and adults coming in with anxiety has doubled since the pandemic.

One theory is that people were buying dogs online from commercial breeders supplied by puppy mills.

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“We're seeing puppies who are being raised like livestock essentially. And so, they're not getting those exposures to ordinary household noises to people coming and going from houses to other animals, different surfaces and textures, and that that can cause anxiety in dogs," Gavin said.

Behavior specialists say if you have an anxious pet seek professional help.

Find a dog trainer that uses positive reinforcement only.

Gavin will be presenting her findings at the veterinary behavior symposium this spring in Austin, Texas.

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