Animal experts say humans wearing masks may take some “getting used to” for pets

Animal experts say humans wearing masks may take some “getting used to” for pets
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - There’s so much to think about these days - but one thing you may have not considered is how the masks we’re wearing to protect ourselves might confuse or even startle your four-legged friends.

Staff at Monticello Animal Hospital in Albemarle County have been wearing masks at all times to help keep everyone safe. However, they say they’ve noticed it takes some getting used to for the animals.

Veterinarian Dr. John Andersen says pets read facial expressions and body language, and when people cover up half of their faces, pets will seem timider at first. Experts are recommending pairing things your pet loves with humans wearing masks, like giving them a treat or two while wearing one.

“I think most pets will be fine, but there are some animals that have some anxiety issues, just like people,” Dr. Andersen said. “Whenever there is any sort of change, that might be something that gets them a little bit nervous or a little bit spooked.”

Dr. Andersen says he’s seen several animals that have seemed more anxious while visiting the animal hospital in the past few weeks. That’s why experts say it’s important to create positive associations from the start. And if your pets are fearful at first, just give them space. They’ll come around.

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