Pets could experience separation anxiety as Americans return to work

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- As more and more Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine and begin to return to work, veterinarians are concerned about what will happen to family pets.

Shelters have seen a major increase in pet adoptions throughout the pandemic.

Many people became first time pet owners when they were forced to stay at home.

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A Chihuahua is lucky to be alive after she was found dumped in a tied up garbage bag and sealed in a closed container for 17 hours in Westchester County.

Now, experts warn pets could experience separation anxiety.

Research shows anxious animals can show behaviors such as barking or destroying things.

"Try to make the transition not scary for them, and some of the ways you can do that is to make it so they get used to the new routine gradually, and you train them to do it in a way that they become familiar with," Dr. Margaret Fordham said. "So some of the ways you can do that are -- leaving them alone for a little bit."

Some other ways to help ease your furry friend's anxiety is purchasing new toys and taking them on long walks when you get home.

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Meet Shortcake, a 6-year-old pit bull adopted from Fresno Bully Rescue and now living in southern California.

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