New York City dog trainer Andrea Arden says that after being sheltered for so long, pets may view the outdoors as more foreign than familiar to them.
"If you want to get an animal adjusted to something they're unfamiliar with, you do it gradually," she says. "The hard part is, we can't really do it gradually here in New York City because we're bombarded with all different types of sounds, all different types of people."
Arden says about 70% of her clients are dealing with COVID-related behavioral and socialization issues, making the most mundane of tasks somewhat challenging.
"Try and arm yourself with as many things at your disposal as you can that you think your dog likes," she suggests. "For example, high-valued treats are a very good idea."
Alayna Graziani, who works at The Pet Market on the Upper West Side, tells FOX 5 NY more people have been coming in for puppy play dates to help break their pets out of isolation.
"We have some treats that have lavender in them, melatonin in them, that might actually make your dog a little more relaxed," she says.
Other dog owners are investing in therapy to help their four-legged companions cope with separation anxiety.
For some dogs, though, reacclimating to life outdoors can take weeks to months. Experts recommend being patient and starting small when trying to readjust to that old routine.
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