July 30, 2020

How do pets feel about our face masks?

How do pets feel about our face masks?
Dr. Chris Brown

With the focus on us humans wearing face masks, have you wondered how our pets are coping with us wearing them? The reality may surprise you...

My interest in this comes after a 2015 study from the University of Vienna found that pets can ‘read’ our facial expressions. In fact, it’s these skills that have allowed dogs (and cats) to become so responsive to our emotions. But without being able to see our nose and mouths, that signal of our happiness or sadness is blocked. So this could lead to some confusion or even anxiety around us wearing them.

However, with masks being so important to our health for the foreseeable future, they’re not going anywhere. So what can you do? Well, obviously around the home there’s no masks and no issue. But to manage time out on walks, let your calm voice and body language provide the comfort they might be craving. You can also ease them into mask life by wearing for short bursts in calm moments around the home.

Over time, they’ve adjusted to sunglasses so masks are just a different kind of face covering. Like us, the furry family are remarkably resilient when they need to be...

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