Coronavirus and pets: Bay Area experts offer advice on helping animals cope

If it seems like the strain you’re feeling over the coronavirus pandemic is hitting your pets, too, it may not be just in your head.

Scientists have found that our furry friends, especially dogs and cats, intuitively know how we’re feeling: They can read our facial expressions, pick up on emotional nuances in our voices, even sense when we’re nervous or worried.

“They can definitely pick up on our anxiety,” said Dr. Wailani Sung, a veterinary behaviorist at San Francisco SPCA. “Dogs and cats are visual communicators. They know our body language much better than we know theirs. When we get worried, they get worried.”

The disruption pets may be feeling goes beyond mirroring our angst.

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