Changes in people’s lifestyle habits during the coronavirus pandemic have been reflected in their pets, a Japanese survey has shown, with many participants saying their dogs seek extra attention with more people regularly at home.

A recent study by dog information website Inunavi found that a total of 56% of owners say their pets’ behavior has changed from before the pandemic.

The online survey conducted in March by the website garnered responses from 694 people who own dogs ranging in age from puppies to 18 years old.

“Changes in owners’ lifestyle habits such as working from home are proving somewhat stressful (to their dogs),” a representative from Inunavi said, urging owners to better look after their pets’ emotional and physical well-being.

In the survey, 70% said they spent more time at home due to teleworking or because their workplaces, such as eateries, are operating over shorter hours.

In response to a multiple-choice question asking about specific behavioral changes, 254 answered their dogs now demand constant attention, followed by 98 who said the dogs now follow them around, while 65 answered their dogs bark more than before.

The survey found that 78% observed no change to their dogs’ appetite, while 50% said they did not see any change in their pets’ sleeping habits.

In the additional comments section, many said they had increased the number of walks to reduce their canines’ stress, while others wrote they tried to “refrain from feeding (them) too many treats.” Some also said they were watching their dogs’ weight since they are unable to go to the dog run.

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