Episode 10: Pandemic Pets

Copy of Episode 4_ Kim Boggini

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About the episode

Thank you for listening to the Hingham ‘Cast. Thousands of families across the country have welcomed new pets into their lives during the pandemic. With everyone home, there is always someone to walk, feed and scratch the ears of this newest family member. But as life inches back to some level of new normal, what will that mean for your “pandemic pet?”


Jeremy, Madison & Kristin Aylward wearing matching pajamas with Roo
Roo, a 14-month-old Rhodesian Ridgeback.

In this episode, we meet Kristin Aylward who had said no to a dog for years. Her kids begged, but who would feed and walk and brush the dog when no one’s ever home? Then Covid hit and Kristin changed her mind. Everyone was home. All. The. Time. “Roo is used to us all being here, pretty much 24/7 someone is always here,” Aylward said. “Before Covid, we were out of the house a lot because both of my children play sports, I’m a teacher, my husband’s full time in his law firm. But now we’re home and she’s attached to us, especially me, I can’t even leave the room for two seconds without her crying and looking for me.” But Aylward, a special education teacher at Gilmore Elementary in Brockton is heading back to school next week and her kids should be back at the high school soon too. “I’m very worried about what she’s going to be like when we’re not here all the time.” Aylward said. “She does not love her crate. She’s not a dog that goes in voluntarily. When I come home, she’s so excited to see me but it also seems like she’s a little upset with me. So she does chew some things in the house and she goes and rips off her toys. It’s going to be hard when I’m fully back in so I definitely need some ideas of how we can better make this a little bit more easy for Roo and for all of us. 

Dr. Trish Cairns, co-chief of staff at Norwell Veterinary Hospital also joins me to share the steps she says you should be taking “yesterday” to help your pet adjust to more time alone. We talk about separation anxiety, how you can soothe puppies and train them not to react to triggers like you getting dressed or reaching for your car keys and the role of exercise, however brief. “If you are going to work and going to school, don’t think that you have to do the two hour walk at Wompatuck that you might have been doing during the pandemic,” Cairns said. “Just do on the leash, around the  block, and just get  off the property. Let them smell some new smells and see some new dogs and do new things. That helps calm them down.” Listen to the full episode for more tips and strategies!

Links mentioned


Online training videos: https://www.dunbaracademy.com/